The first research project undertaken by the Legal History Group is a study of the interaction between the law and the family in Ireland in the period 1800-1950. The project began as a roundtable conference on the legal history of the family in Ireland, held in the Sutherland School of Law in March 2015. That conference resulted in a collection of twelve papers covering the stages of married life from engagement to divorce, and also touching on issues like the legal history of adoption, the legal definition of infanticide in nineteenth century Ireland, married women’s property, inter-family homicide trials in Ireland, the action for breach of promise of marriage, and the place of the family in the Irish Constitution. These essays are now due for publication by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.
The collection will be made up of the following titles: ‘Deception, Dissenters, and Degraded Clergymen: Irish Bigamy Cases in the Nineteenth Century’ (Dr Maebh Harding, Warwick University); ‘The Action for Breach of Promise of Marriage in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’ (Michael Sinnott); ‘Adultery in the Courts: Damages for Criminal Conversation in Ireland’ (Dr Niamh Howlin, UCD); ‘Divorce Irish style’: Marriage Dissolution in Ireland, 1850-1950’ (Dr Diane Urquhart); ‘Marriage Breakdown in Ireland, c. 1660-1857’ (Professor Mary O’Dowd, Queen’s University Belfast); ‘Class Criminality and Marriage Breakdown’ (Dr Deirdre McGowan, DIT); ‘Behind Closed Doors: Society, Law and Familial Violence in Ireland, 1922-1990’ (Dr Lindsay Earner Byrne, UCD); ‘Murder in the Irish Family, 1930-1945’ (Dr Karen Brennan, University of Essex);’ Married Women’s property in Ireland 1800-1900’ (Dr Kevin Costello, UCD); ‘The Fate of the ‘Illegitimate’ Child: An Analysis of Irish Social Policy 1750-1952’ (Dr Simone McCaughren and Professor Fred Powell, UCC); ‘Embedding the Family in the Irish Constituton’ (Dr Thomas Mohr, UCD); ,Interrogating the Charge of Concealment of Birth in Nineteenth-Century Irish Courts’ (Dr Elaine Farrell, Queen’s University Belfast).