Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Oisín Wall and James Grannell
Cultural and Social History: The Journal of the Social History Society
From ‘Opium Smoking Orgies’ to ‘Junkie Babies’: Representations of Heroin-Use in Ireland, 1915-90
Optional Fields
Heroin, opiates, drugs history, Ireland
Heroin had a profound impact on Twentieth Century Ireland. This article explores the changing narratives around heroin-use during three phases: 1920–60, when heroin was represented as a distant and exoticised problem; 1960–80, when the first synthetic opiate-users came to public attention, and were depicted them as an imported British problem; and 1980–90 when heroin-users, and the working-class communities that they were assumed to come from, were stigmatised as an existential danger to society. This article argues that these unstable narratives reveal more about the construction of, and anxieties about, Ireland’s discursive self-image, than about heroin-use itself.
Grant Details