Road to Repeal
50 Years of Struggle in Ireland for Contraception and Abortion
Edited by:, ,
Publication Date: 15 September 2022
In Road to Repeal: 50 Years of Struggle in Ireland for Contraception and Abortion, the editors Therese Caherty and Pauline Conroy, along with photographer Derek Speirs, look back on the journey of the Eighth Amendment.
‘Amazing history, very pertinent now’ MARGARET ATWOOD
Road to Repeal: 50 Years of Struggle in Ireland for Contraception and Abortion opens in 1970 when the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement burst onto the streets and screens of a society bewildered by women demanding equal status in the home and in the workplace. It tracks the bitter backlash to their successes that culminated in the Eighth Amendment’s fixture in the Irish Constitution in 1983.
Over five decades, Road to Repeal describes and depicts individual tragedy, referendums, court cases, the actions of a misogynist Church and State. It shines a light on the journey of thousands of women and girls who braved stigma and hardship, often travelling alone and anonymously for medical treatment they were denied in Ireland. Road to Repeal closes with the visually dazzling Together For Yes campaign whose determination and grit finally got rid of the Eighth Amendment, Article 40.3.3 on May 25th, 2018.
PRAISE FOR ROAD TO REPEAL EDITED BY THERESE CAHERTY, PAULINE CONROY AND DEREK SPEIRS
The Pat Kenny Show: interview with editors Therese Caherty and Pauline Conroy. Listen here.
‘The editors of Road to Repeal do an exceptional job of charting that painful history and exposing how women in Ireland were outcast, stigmatised, and criminalised for having a body. They have set it down in a beautifully produced photobook that should be required reading because it explains why we are where we are right now, which is in a country where women still have a struggle on their hands.’ Clodagh Finn, Irish Examiner
‘Road to Repeal is a splendid production, both visually and in textual content. There is a terrific balance between the vibrant images and the really informative text.’ Caitriona Crowe, archivist and broadcaster
‘This powerful book is a memento of what it was like to grow up in a theocracy and a monument to the courage of the citizenry who organised and fought for bodily autonomy over decades, across generations, classes, and genders.’ Paula Meehan, poet
Eighth Amendment may be gone but mindset that gave rise to it persists: a feature by Therese Caherty and Pauline Conroy with photographs by Derek Speirs in the Irish Times
We’ve tracked Ireland’s road to repeal – it would be foolish to believe the struggle is over: a feature by Therese Caherty and Pauline Conroy with photographs by Derek Speirs in The Journal
‘What emanates from the huge number of images is the bravery of those who stood up against the misogyny that hemmed women and others in … an informative timeline, a vital reminder and a visual education in the waves of activism that kept coming, no matter how those who held power in Irish society attempted to stymie them.’ Una Mullaly, Irish Times
Irish Daily Mail Book of the Year 2022
‘Impressive … I wish to praise those who produced Road to Repeal. Each of its authors has a long history of involvement in Irish social movements … If the Road to Repeal illustrates the importance of social movements, it also bears witness to the importance and effectiveness of the actions of individuals.’ Tomás Mac Sheoin, Monthly Review
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Therese Caherty is a journalist, trade unionist and feminist writer who engaged in the major turning points in reproductive rights campaigns in recent years. She was assistant editor in women’s publisher Attic Press. She is a former member of the Irish Executive and Equality Councils of the National Union of Journalists and NUJ rep for the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Women’s Committee. She co-founded and chaired the Irish Women Workers Commemorative Committee, and the Trade Union Campaign to Repeal the 8th Amendment.
Pauline Conroy is a social scientist, policy analyst and author who has published extensively on reproductive rights since the 1980s. Her publications on gender themes, poverty issues and reproductive rights have been published worldwide. She has been an expert in social policy with the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the International Labour Organisation. Pauline was co-editor of Gender in Irish Society in 1987 with Galway University Press. In 2018 she authored A Bit Different – Disability in Ireland with Orpen Press.
Derek Speirs has been described as “Ireland’s most renowned photographer of social scenes and social issues” by Rev Peter McVerry. He has been widely exhibited, most recently at the Galerie Dezernat5 as part of the Filmkunstfest in Schwerin in Germany. His photo publications have been widely acclaimed such as Pavee Pictures and 30 Years of Pavee Point. He cooperated with Gene Kerrigan in Goodbye to All That, a publication addressing Ireland and the career of politician Charles Haughey.
Many photographers helped make Road to Repeal possible including Clodagh Boyd, Rose Comiskey, Paula Geraghty, Emma Loughran, Joanne O’Brien, Derek Speirs, and The Irish Times kindly supplied images from Nick Bradshaw, Eddie Kelly, Pat Langan, Eric Luke, Jack McManus, Joe O’Shaughnessy and Peter Thursfield.
|255 × 290 mm
15 September 2022