Writing Irish Institutions: Jacinta Daly, Melatu Uche Okorie, and Emilie Pine


This discussion adopts a wide-angle approach to non-criminal institutional incarceration in modern and contemporary Ireland. Focusing on Mother and Baby Homes, Industrial Schools, and Direct Provision Centres, the panelists consider topics such as: How do we as a society remember and acknowledge abuses past and present? How is non-criminal institutional incarceration in contemporary Ireland similar and/or different to what has gone before? How might the lessons of the twentieth century be applied to twenty-first century Ireland?

The panelists are:

Jacinta Daly spent a number of years working in Drugs, Alcohol and Homeless Services before returning to education as a mature student. She holds an Honours Degree in English Literature and Theology with Dublin City University and a Masters in Gender and Sexuality in Literature and Culture with Maynooth University. Her memoir, Girls Like You: The Long Road Back from Bessborough documents her time in Bessborough House Mother and Baby Home. It is her first publication. 

Melatu-Uche Okorie was born in Enugu, Nigeria and has been living in Ireland for twelve years. She has an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. Her work has been published in Dublin: Ten Journeys One Destination, Alms on the Highway: New Writing from the Oscar Wilde Centre, LIT Journal, and College Green Magazine. Her debut collection, This Hostel Life, was published in May, 2018. She is currently working on a novel.

Emilie Pine is Professor of Modern Drama in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin. From 2015-19, Emilie led an Irish Research Council project recording the legacies of institutional abuse in Ireland. She has published widely as an academic and critic, most recently The Memory Marketplace: Witnessing Pain in Contemporary Theatre, and the award-winning Notes to Self: Personal Essays