Historical records

The Joint Committee of Women’s Societies and Social Workers

The first committee meeting of the Joint Committee of Women’s Societies and Social Workers was held in March 1935, at Ely Place in central Dublin.

Notable attendees at the initial meeting were Mrs Kettle, Mrs Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Louie Bennett, Jennie Wise Power and Madeleine ffrench-Mullen. The Joint Committee was made up of representatives from a number of women’s organisation, which met initially to discuss a response to the rejection of proposed amendments to the Criminal Law Amendment Act.

The Joint Committee was disbanded in 1993, after fifty-eight years in existence. Throughout this time, the number of organisations on the committee fluctuated, but initially comprised nine societies and later rose to fourteen. It dealt with many issues relating to women and children, through a time of immense change in Irish society and, from its records, could clearly be seen to have influenced the changes that occurred in Irish society at this time.

This collection is organised into seven distinct series, comprising mainly files, but also bound volumes and some financial information. Within each series, the material is organised mainly in date order, where possible. The minutes of the committee, which are recorded in bound volume, are by far the most valuable source, dating as they do from the formation of the organisation in 1935. There are good runs of reports for the 1980s and 1990s and information relating to specific areas in which the committee was involved in and the organisation’s fiftieth
year celebrations.

For more information on this collection see the finding aid to the Joint Committee of Women’s Societies and Social Workers.

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