Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Capital Punishment in Independent IrelandA Social, Legal and Political History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David M. Doyle and Liam O'Callaghan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620276

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620276.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Women and the Death Penalty

Women and the Death Penalty

(p.101) Chapter 3 Women and the Death Penalty
Capital Punishment in Independent Ireland

David M. Doyle

Liam O’Callaghan

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the fate of women sentenced to death in independent Ireland. The majority of the women sentenced to death had killed babies and the judiciary and politicians instinctively looked upon them with pity. Death sentences in such cases were quickly commuted until 1949 when new legislation created the offence of infanticide which was dealt with much more leniently. A smaller number of women were convicted of killing adults and, as this chapter argues, their culpability was usually called into question by the patriarchal judicial and political establishment. In particular decision-makers deployed discourses around morality, sanity and social circumstances to make sense of the actions of this group of women, most of whom were impoverished and socially powerless. Thus with one notable exception – Annie Walsh, who was executed in 1926 – governments were minded to draw back from executing women and closely controlled their lives post-reprieve.

Keywords:   women, infanticide, morality, sanity, patriarchy

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.