Women, Their own Worst Enemy’?: Police Culture, Sexuality and Sexual Crime in the Irish Free State, 1929 – Dr Tony Keating, Edge Hill University
Paper Synopsis: Sexual crime in the Irish Free State was more than an issue of law, it carried ideological importance in a nation that legitimized itself as a beacon of Celtic Catholicism whilst struggling to maintain credibility in a contested post-colonial landscape. The nation’s police force, An Garda Síochána, had a central role in preserving the nation’s reputation for piety. This paper explores the views of two of An Garda Síochána’s most senior officers regarding female sexuality and sexual crime. It thereby identifies features that were to influence the level of protection and justice Ireland’s women and children were afforded under law for decades to come.
Speaker Biography: Dr Tony Keating is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences at Edge Hill University. A qualified social worker, he has worked in child protection, youth offending and as a specialist social worker with the Traveller community in Dublin. Tony has also worked as a Director of a Young offenders Centre in Ireland, during which time he was actively involved in the investigation of abuse in institutions formally run by religious orders. He was appointed as a member of an ‘expert group’ on the Irish Youth courts by the Minister for Children.
Tony has been actively researching sexual crime, censorship and the politics of child welfare in Ireland for over 14 years. He completed his doctoral studies in 2002 at Dublin City University where he explored the cultural and communications aspects of the abuse of children in Irish Institutions. This was followed by a Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship researching sexual crime in Ireland-1922 to 1975. He has published most recently in New Hibernia Review, Irish Studies Review and Raharc (Journal of American Irish Studies). His work has been cited in the Irish Commission of Enquiry into Child Abuse (The Ryan Report) and Amnesty Internationals, ‘In Plain Sight’, report on institutional abuse.
For further information contact Mari Hughes-Edwards