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Lauren Tarpey


Project 1: The Good Room

In Ireland until 1998, unmarried mothers were detracted from society and housed in catholic-run institutions. These women were often denied support and shunned by their families and society after falling pregnant outside of marriage. This was widely viewed as socially unacceptable and shameful for much of the twentieth century in Ireland. For decades, the stories of these institutions and the atrocities carried out in them, were largely unspoken, despite calls from the mothers who became virtual prisoners within their walls and children who spent their earliest years there, later sharing stories of neglect and abuse. The Good Room depicts an alternative progressive narrative that emerged from this oppressive period in Irish History.

The Good Room is a narrative that is told from a multi generational perspective including a child born out of wedlock on the cusp of the twenty-first century. When my Mother became pregnant at the age of nineteen, my Grandmother, a liberal and countercultural thinker, defied the dominant religious discourse by supporting her daughter’s pregnancy at a time when it was widely regarded as shameful and taboo.

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