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- PublicationAgeing and Irish Social PolicyAgeing and Social Policy in Ireland brings together the writings of specialists in a range of areas relevant to the situation of older people in Ireland. The overall subject of ageing and social policy is of current relevance and will remain so in the coming decades. This is because Ireland, like other European countries, is facing demographic changes and parallel policy challenges. The average life expectancy has increased quite dramatically in recent decades. The average life expectancy for a man in Ireland at age 66 is now 80 . 6 years while, on average, a woman at the same age will have a further 17 . 9 years to live. Social Inclusion: Building an Inclusive Society , the National Plan for Social Inclusion (Government of Ireland, 2002), outlines a vision for older people in which they are enabled to maintain their health and well-being, live active and full lives, indepen- dently and in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. It envisions older people participating in social and civic life, having sufficient income to support an acceptable standard of living, and having access to good quality services in the community, including: health, education, transport, housing and security.
- PublicationWelcoming the Stranger, Irish Emigrant Welfare in Britain since 1957(Irish Academic Press, 2015-03-30)This lively book tells the untold story of the crucial work carried out by the Irish Emigrant Chaplaincy in Britain on behalf of Irish emigrants for over half a century. The service was established by the Catholic Church in 1957 and the hidden history revealed is one of political intrigue; economic booms and busts; MI5; international relations; miscarriages of justice; Papal Encyclicals; Gospel teaching and the struggle for equality and justice. The vital work of the Irish Emigrant Chaplaincy was conducted against a background of battling against the odds and the establishment. It is the story of Irish and British migration history in modern times and Anglo-Irish relations unfolding over turbulent and politically sensitive decades. Based on archival research, a wealth of personal interviews and newly discovered material – most notably those of Bishop Eamon Casey and Archbishop John-Charles McQuaid – the roll-call also includes the most prominent world and church leaders of the period: Margaret Thatcher, John Hume, Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese, and Cardinals Hume & Ó Fiaich. Welcoming the Stranger critically examines how the Irish government was forced to take responsibility for the Irish abroad.
- PublicationMotherhood in Ireland, Creation and Context(Mercier Press, 2004)In this book I bring together creative and critical writing on motherhood in Ireland in an attempt to understand its complexity. I am conscious that motherhood has been used as a symbol in Ireland in political, cultural and social life. In the course of editing this book I met many men and women who told me that they did not feel qualified to write about motherhood, and some expressed a fear of speaking on the subject. This they all agreed was because they had not experienced physiological motherhood. I found this very disturbing, as it seemed to imply that a whole section of the population had been silenced.