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    The Death Penalty in Post-Independence Ireland

    Doyle, David M. and O'Donnell, Ian (2012) The Death Penalty in Post-Independence Ireland. The Journal of Legal History, 33 (1). pp. 65-91. ISSN 0144-0365

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    The history of capital punishment in post-Independence Ireland has received scant scholarly attention. This essay is an attempt to set out what can be learned about the executed persons, the executioners, and the politicians whose inaction (not reforming the law) and actions (deciding against clemency) brought the two former groups together. The death penalty was deployed strategically against IRA members during the early 1940s as part of a package of legal measures designed to crush subversive activity, but more usually its targets were murderers whose acts had no wider ramifications. One notable aspect of the Irish arrangements was that when a prisoner was to be taken to the gallows an English hangman was always contracted to arrange the ‘drop’. Reflecting popular antipathy towards the practice the Irish state was unable to find a willing executioner within its borders.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Death Penalty; post-independence Ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Item ID: 11678
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: David Doyle
    Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2019 14:12
    Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Legal History
    Publisher: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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