Lecture 12th February 2018

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Angels and Angel Makers – A history of Child Protection.

AnglamakerskaRhonda Willis was the last ‘Angel Maker’ to be hung in Britain in 1907. 129 years earlier in 1778, the king of Sweden decreed that no woman convicted of infanticide was to be executed. Instead they were to be flogged in public, before being jailed. Then upon each anniversary of the crime, they were to be removed from prison stripped and publicly flogged.

It’s almost incomprehensible for us to believe that with our advanced technology and 21st century medicine that babies died at UK NHS hospitals at a higher rate than that of the now infamous St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam. One NHS hospital had a mortality rate of 43%, massively higher than any other maternity hospital in the UK.

The lecture will be packed with fascinating facts revealing information which has long since fallen out of public consciousness. What for example would incentivise many women to get deliberately pregnant, deliver and dispose of their baby. Why was anonymous abandonment of infants encouraged and why did the secular authorities want to know the identity of the mother and father? Why did 3,000 babies die in London in a single moth? Plus much more.

Science historian Eugene Jordan and current president of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society will examine the history of child protection from its very beginnings in late antiquity to the present day. Despite the difficult nature of the subject, the lecture is aimed at a general audience and will be light, humorous at times, interesting, informative and inspiring. Based on years of research, the lecture will look at evidence from a science history perspective which should allow the audience to answer the big controversial question for themselves:  As they now stand accused, did the nuns in Tuam commit murder?

The lecture will take place Harbour Hotel, Galway 8pm Monday 12th February 2018

All are welcome to attend. Admission Free.