Media Contribution: Contraception in Ireland

On Sunday, I joined Diarmaid Ferriter (UCD) in a discussion about the history of contraception with Myles Dungan on RTÉ’s The History Show. This month marks the 25th anniversary of The Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Act, 1985. The legislation was introduced by the then Minister for Health, Barry Desmond, who explained in one interview,

I regard the issue of contraception as a health matter.

Minister Desmond shifted contraception from being a justice issue to being a health issue, and in doing so, he loosened restrictions by allowing condoms and spermicides to be sold to people over 18, without having to present a prescription. Such items, however, could only be purchased from chemists. It wasn’t until the 1990s — in response to concerns about Aids — that contraception could be more widely accessed.

Click to Listen
Click to Listen Back to the Discussion

Published by Dr Ciara Meehan

Reader in History at the University of Hertfordshire.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: