By Nell McCafferty
Joanne Hayes, at 24 years of age, hid the delivery and loss of life of her child in County Kerry, eire, in 1984. hence she confessed to the homicide, through stabbing, of one other child. all the medical proof confirmed that she couldn't have had this moment child. The police however, insisted on charging her and, after the costs have been dropped, persevered to insist that she had given beginning to twins conceived of 2 varied males.
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Extra resources for A Woman to Blame. The Kerry Babies Case
In the heyday of the seventies, the laws against Irishwomen were so self-evidently silly that taking aim at them was like shooting fish in a barrel. Then the Pope came. The Irish lived easily with the contradiction of adoring him while simultaneously breaking his edicts. So did some priests – an effective underground network made known which clerics would give absolution for what were, officially, mortal sins. It was in the aftermath of the papal visit that civil hell was visited upon Catholic Ireland in the form of a constitutional referendum on abortion.
Their sixty-acre scrub farm had passed on to the family through the lately deceased Maurice Fuller, sole brother of Joanne’s mother Mary. Maurice Fuller had been a peace commissioner, and the guards used to go up to the house regularly to have things signed by him. The farm effectively supported two families. In the ancestral family dwelling, a long single-storey house, Maurice Fuller had lived with his spinster sister Bridie, a nurse. A hundred yards away, in a small county-council cottage, lived his sister Mary, her husband Paddy Hayes and their children Kathleen, Ned, Mike and the youngest, Joanne.
Sister Aquinas sat down and wrote a letter to her younger sister Bridie. Bridie gave up driving the car. Aquinas was a regular visitor to the farm. She’d often stay overnight. Sometimes, though not often, because she was a nun and elderly now, she’d go with them all up into the bog to cut and foot the turf. They’d bring sandwiches and tea and work and talk in the sunshine. Joanne would join them on those summer days. For all its cosmopolitan delights, the one thing Tralee couldn’t offer you was a day up in the bog, and there were few pleasures in the world like it.
A Woman to Blame. The Kerry Babies Case by Nell McCafferty