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19th Jun 2018

“Landmark Documentary” Airs On RTÉ On Tuesday And Wednesday

Darragh Berry

There is a highly anticipated documentary airing on RTÉ on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

It’s been described as a “landmark documentary” and is a two-part series created by Anne Roper which explores Irish women’s lives since achieving the vote 100 years ago.

‘No Country for Women’ “travels through time, seeking historical answers in the journeys of a number of Irish women today.”

In 1918, Irish women were allowed vote for the first time but No Country for Women asks the question: “why, in an Ireland that fought so hard for independence, did half the population’s voices so often go unheard? And what is the long-term legacy of a century of government, legal and religious control over women’s lives?”

Stories and participants in Episode One which airs on 19 June, include:

Samantha Long who wants to find out about what life was like for her grandmother and other women confined to ‘mental asylums’ beyond the Free State years.

Catherine Corless will talk about Julia Carter Devaney who spent the first 45 years of her life as an unpaid domestic in Tuam’s mother and baby home.

Mary Magee, from Skerries, will touch on the contraception ban of the 1970s:

“I was having problems with pregnancies: pre-eclampsia, strokes. I got scared and decided to use contraception. I couldn’t take the pill because of the stroke, so I found out about the coil. But you needed spermicide from England and my order was stopped by customs.”

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Journalist, Justine McCarthy also feature.

Stories and participants in Episode Two include:

Rebecca Roche talks about meeting her stepmother at the age of eight who was fired from her teaching job in the 1980s for living with a separated man and becoming pregnant.

Mary Merritt was incarcerated for fourteen years as an unpaid worker a religious-run laundry.

Micheline Sheehy Skeffington‘s grandmother, Hannah Sheehy Skeffington, was a feminist and suffragette. She was fired after being arrested protesting for women’s vote 100 years ago.

Phil Walsh had to leave her work as County Librarian in the 1970s because of the marriage bar. As a result, today she still gets a lower State pension and wants that changed.

‘No Country For Women’ airs on Tuesday, 19 and Wednesday 20 June, 21.35 on RTÉ One.

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