Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Send in the wimmin’

A bunch of documents have been released from 1978 and this story made me chuckle in today’s Irish Times. The govt at the time grappling with the concept of depopulation of the Islands.

THE ISLANDS: THE PROBLEM of declining population on islands led one minister to suggest a need to provide well-paid jobs for “females of marriageable age” to reverse the trend.

The declining and ageing population with a lack of women of marriageable age is identified as one factor that may lead to the eventual depopulation of the inhabited non-Gaeltacht islands of the west coast, a 1978 report revealed.

The minister for economic planning and development Martin O’Donoghue sought approval to “create female-employing projects on the islands, since without these the population structure is in danger due to the migration of marriageable age women in the islands”, a memorandum for the government states.

I love how the assumption is that’s all it takes. You see them banging the table, insisting “come on lads send in the uterus’!”

Of course there’s no mention of whether this was after the time when women had to give up their jobs once they were married. Unbelievable as it may sound. Since that would surely scupper the plan. Come to the Islands be a teacher until your up the pole and then … stay and populate the Island sans employment. Indeed.

There’s also no consideration of the males that lay in store for these women. The notion that you’d merely arrive female and fertile … er come again?

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