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Bad Bridget: Crime, Mayhem, and the Lives of Irish Emigrant Women

23rd August 2023 – 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

£5.00 – £6.50

Performance Area | £6.50 / £5.00 (Members)

Ireland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was not a good place to be a woman. Among the wave of emigrants from Ireland to North America were many, many young women who travelled on their own, hoping for a better life. Some lived lives of quiet industry and piety. Others quickly found themselves in trouble.

Elaine Farrell and Leanne McCormick, in conversation with Kathy Clugston, talk about their bestselling book and tell the strange, funny, and often moving stories of these Bad Bridgets, young women who left their impoverished homeland and ended up as sex workers, thieves, kidnappers and killers.


Dr Elaine Farrell
Dr Elaine Farrell is a Reader in Irish Social History at Queen’s University Belfast, specialising in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland. Her research focuses on crime history, as well as women’s and gender history, with a keen interest in the lived experiences of the inhabitants during the nineteenth century. Dr Farrell joined Queen’s University in 2012, taking up a permanent post in the History department. Prior to this, she served as an Irish Research Council Fellow at University College Dublin.

Dr Leanne McCormick
Dr Leanne McCormick is a Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish Social History and the Director of the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland (CHOMI) at Ulster University. With a focus on women’s history, history of sexuality, and history of medicine in Ireland/Northern Ireland, she has established herself as an accomplished researcher and has made significant contributions to these fields through her extensive publications.

Kathy Clugston
Kathy Clugston is a well-known voice on BBC radio. After many years as a Radio 4 newsreader in London she now hosts the long-running programme Gardeners’ Question Time and, since returning home to live in Belfast, the weekly entertainment show The Ticket on Radio Ulster, where she speaks to local writers, comedians, musicians and performers. She has written a humour book, a stage musical and has a monthly column in Ulster Tatler magazine.


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23rd August 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
£5.00 – £6.50
Event Category:


The Linen Hall
+44 (0)28 9032 1707
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The Linen Hall
17 Donegall Square North
Belfast, BT1 5GB United Kingdom
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Booking is essential for all events including free events. All event tickets are non-refundable. Please view our Customer Service Policy.