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September 17, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Rub me for Luck – OurNewEyes Reblog


Today in Dublin I visited an Irish gift and souvenir shop to buy a trinket for a pal that is leaving Ireland for a while. As I searched the isles of gewgaws and gimcracks I happened upon this selection of “Irish Condoms”. It’s pretty amazing to see this considering that until comparatively recently in this country you could only get contraception on prescription from your doctor.

Between 1935 and 1978 there was a total ban on the sales of contraceptions here mostly as it was at odds with the teachings of the catholic church. There were loop-holes where you could “donate” money and in return receive condoms but for the most part chemists and shops did not stock them for fear of prosecution or upsetting the “morality” of the local community.

By the late 70’s it was found by the supreme court that because of the right to marital privacy it was allowable to use condoms from a legal point of view but at the same time it remained illegal to obtain then.
The law was loosened slightly at this stage and you could then buy them in a pharmacy as long as you had a scrip from your Doctor. This is the original “Irish solution to an Irish problem” that is often used in more modern times to describe pretty much any stupid act by our government.

The mid 1980’s saw a liberalisation of the laws governing the sale and advertising of contraceptions. It was then possible to buy them in certain “categories of places” once you were over the age of 18. The 90’s saw a further relaxing of these laws.

The availability of condoms grew to the extent that a mere 36 years after they became legal they are on sale in gift shops as a novelty item.

First posted on the blog


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