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The Cost of Neglect, or For Whom Will You Wear a Yellow Flower? – Episode 101

In this episode Dara moves from very light to very dark. Recorded on his 20th wedding anniversary, Dara feels duty bound to reflect on that special day in 2003, and he revisits some of the standout moments, including an unlikely mode of transport for the first night of his honeymoon.

Not prompted by those memories, Dara speaks about the impact of neglect and how being overlooked is more painful than being ignored. Something his daughter said to him reinforced his conviction that there is a real danger in failing to pay attention to people close to you. He recalls aspects of his own childhood in this context and considers how approaches to parenting have changed.

From the intimate and familial, Dara journeys to the social and political and revisits two of the most distressing episodes from Ireland’s modern past. In 1984, when he was only 10, two stories captured the nation when they exposed a terrible darkness and hypocrisy in cultural attitudes to women, and in particular to young women who found themselves pregnant outside the ‘sanctity’ of marriage. Ann Lovett and Joanne Hayes were the individuals whose tragic circumstances became a flashpoint that rallied Irish women in a fierce outcry against the misogyny of a repressive, patriarchal society that felt it had the right to police female bodies.

Dara shares his own impressions of the time and how he perceived girls he knew in comparable situations. He wonders who the equivalent victims are today of society’s neglect.

Joanne Hayes and the Kerry babies:

Ann Lovett’s tragic story: article on Ireland’s 1983 abortion referendum:

New Irish film about Ann Lovett’s final day:

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