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Dr Deirdre Foley

Dr Deirdre Foley is a historian of modern Ireland with a particular interest in the legal status of women and reproductive care in twentieth-century Ireland.

She is the membership secretary of the Women’s History Association of Ireland and a former Roy Foster Irish Government Research Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford.

To date her research has been published in The History of the Family, Irish Economic History and Social History. Beyond the academy, Deirdre has written for RTÉ Brainstorm and appeared on documentaries produced by TG4 and RTÉ.

Her current Irish Research Council-funded project is entitled ‘The (in)visibility of paid labour: Women’s working lives in Ireland, c. 1965-1990.’

Select Publications

  • ‘The Irish family, marital breakdown and the Josie Airey case, c. 1974-1981’, The History of the Family, 2024, pp. 1-23.
  • 'How Irish State legislation restricted women in the workplace'. RTÉ Brainstorm, 2024.
  • ‘The Marriage Bar and Working Women, 1922-1972’ in John Cunningham, Francis Devine & Sonja Tiernan (eds.), Labour History in Irish History: Essays Celebrating Fifty Years of the Irish Labour History Society (Dublin, 2023).
  • ‘“Their proper place”: women, work and the marriage bar in independent Ireland, c. 1924–1973’, Social History, vol. 47, no. 1 (2022), pp. 60-84.
  • ‘“Too Many Children?” Family Planning and Humanae Vitae in Dublin, 1960–72’, Irish Economic and Social History, vol. 46, no. 1, (2019), pp. 142–160.

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