Back of Rotunda Hospital, Dublin

Mother and Child Scheme Controversy

….the controversy is seen generally in the historiography as the first big clash between the Roman Catholic Church and the Irish State. However, I think it’s actually a lot more than that. First of all it’s not the first clash and it is a lot more substantial than a clash between Church and State……Fundamentally the shape of health services, but also the premise on which the welfare state is based, was settled in the controversy. It was settled against a universal non-means test system and in favour of a neo-liberal model.

Dr Lindsey Earner-Byrne

In a podcast for the History Hub.ie podcast series, Dr Lindsey Earner-Byrne (UCD) looks at the Mother and Child Scheme controversy which erupted in Ireland in the early 1950s.

Dr Lindsey Earner-Byrne is a lecturer in the School of History and Archives UCD and the author of Mother and Child: Maternity and Child Welfare in Ireland, 1920s-1960s (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Her research areas include modern Irish social and political history; gender and welfare history of Ireland and Europe; Irish demographic and emigration history.


To subscribe to the History Hub.ie podcast series just follow the links below (iTunes/RSS).

Image: Rotunda Hospital, Dublin City by National Library of Ireland on The Commons (The RotundaUploaded by oaktree_b) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons