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Scholarcast 14: Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland

Diarmaid Ferriter


In this episode Diarmaid Ferriter reads from chapter four of his latest book Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland published by Profile Books. Using a huge variety of different sources, Occasions of Sin charts the Irish sexual experience over the course of the twentieth century. In tackling the public and private worlds of Irish sex, this book is groundbreaking in its scope and ambition, covering such subjects as abortion, pregnancy, celibacy, contraception, censorship, infanticide, homosexuality, prostitution, marriage, popular culture, social life and the various hidden Irelands associated with sex and sexual abuse. The book energetically and originally engages with subjects traditionally omitted from the mainstream historical narrative. It also details the interaction between church, state, politicians, lobby groups and private individuals as debates raged over family planning, marriage, gay rights and the role of the media.

Diarmaid Ferriter 

Diarmaid Ferriter was born in Dublin in 1972 and is one of Ireland’s leading historians. He is Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD and has published extensively on twentieth century Irish history. His books include the bestsellers The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 (Profile Books, 2004) andJudging Dev: A Reassessment of the life and legacy of Eamon de Valera (Royal Irish Academy, 2007), winner of three Irish book awards in 2008. His latest book is Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland (Profile Books, 2009). He is a regular broadcaster with RTÉ radio and television.

Occasions of Sin


Series Editor: P.J. Mathews 
Scholarcast original theme music by: Padhraic Egan, Michael Hussey and Sharon Hussey.
Recording, audio editing, photography and development by: John Matthews, Brian Kelly, Vincent Hoban &
Niall Watts at UCD IT Services, Media Services.
Consultant Producer: Clíodhna Ní Anluain, RTÉ

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