Mamie Cadden: Backstreet Abortionist, by Ray Kavanagh

Mamie Cadden: Backstreet Abortionist, by Ray Kavanagh

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Mamie Cadden was born in the US of Co. Mayo parents who returned to Ireland soon after her birth. Mamie qualified as a midwife from the National Maternity Hospital in 1925 and started work in one of Dublin's many nursing homes. Soon after she established her own home, St Maelruins, in Rathmines.

Mamie became famous in Dublin for her fast lifestyle, blonde hair, MG sportscar and friendship with students, bohemians and other independent women. However, it all came to a temporary end in 1939 when she was sentenced to jail for abandoning a child she had contracted to place in a home.

When she emerged in 1940 she began to concentrate on the busy abortion services in Dublin, a service which would eventually land her in jail for the rest of her life …