Irish Fatherhood in the Twentieth Century

  • Dara E. PurvisEmail author
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)


This chapter explores the various legal understandings attached to the notion of Irish fatherhood in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and the ramifications these frameworks have created for men wanting to be active parents to their children. Parenthood for much of the twentieth century was synonymous with motherhood according to the Irish courts, based on the perception that a biological mother’s right to be her child’s guardian was a natural product of her genetic link with her child, excluding any rights for fathers wanting to participate in the parenting process. Purvis argues that the Irish legal system has been one of the last bastions for outmoded beliefs about men, fatherhood and the role some parents wish to have in their children’s lives.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Penn State LawUniversity ParkUSA

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