Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kyle Hughes and Donald MacRaild

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940650

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940650.001.0001

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: 31 July 2021

Attitudes and Responses to Vagrancy in Ireland in the Long Nineteenth Century

Attitudes and Responses to Vagrancy in Ireland in the Long Nineteenth Century

Chapter:
(p.264) 14 Attitudes and Responses to Vagrancy in Ireland in the Long Nineteenth Century
Source:
Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century
Author(s):

Virginia Crossman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781786940650.003.0015

This essay focuses on a special category of Irish crime: vagrancy. While vagrancy was a criminal offence in its own right, it was often its association with other forms of criminality and immorality that ensured ‘tramps’ could be viewed with fear and contempt in the Irish countryside. The relationship between crime and poverty has been a subject of considerable debate in numerous scholarly fields. This essay makes the important point that tramps were viewed with suspicion, not on account of their poverty intrinsically, but rather because they consciously rejected social norms in favour of an itinerant lifestyle. The ‘tramp problem’ occupied the attentions of the public and the administrators alike at the turn of the century: the former sometimes startled by the arrival at their door of a ‘big lazy fellow’ demanding relief, and the latter busily issuing circulars to magistrates and police imploring them to clamp down on the offenders. In the end, however, an unsatisfactory justice system predicated on punishment merely reinforced existing prejudices and did little to alleviate the social inequality that gave rise to vagrancy in the first place.

Keywords:   Vagrancy, Tramps, Itinerant, Poverty, Rural Ireland

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.