Illegitimate Children (Affiliation Orders) Bill 1929 – Second Stage, Seanad Éireann, 19 March 1930
On 19 March 1930, the Seanad debated the Illegitimate Children (Affiliation Orders) Bill 1929, which dealt with maintenance payments by the fathers of illegitimate children. Under its provisions, the mother would be required to identify the father in court.
"The vast majority of these girls … would die rather than face a public court, where they would be held up to the contempt of all the loafers and idlers who would go to the court to gloat over their misery." ‑Kathleen Anne Browne
"To my mind the principal merit of the Bill is that it extends protection to child-life. … From what one has heard one would imagine that all those mothers of illegitimate children are saints or martyrs of some kind, and that the only charge that can be laid is against the other side. As a matter of fact, more often the charge, if it is a charge, could be laid against the mother." ‑J.T. O’Farrell
"Take the case which very frequently occurs of the poor girl dying and the child surviving. How then could the information be made by the mother who is dead, and what remedy has the child—an illegitimate child and orphan as well?" ‑Michael Comyn
"[T]hough we are in favour of justice being done to the mothers of illegitimate children, we must be fair all round. I think that Senator Comyn made a mistake when he said that it would be impossible under certain circumstances for the father of an illegitimate child to be made responsible if the mother died at birth. I think he overlooked the fact that under Section 2 the mother can make an affidavit before birth." ‑Thomas Farren