BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

18 September 2014
Accessibility help
Wars and Conflict - The Plantation of Ulster

BBC Homepage
Wars and

  The Plantation
  Ireland before the Plantation
  London Companies
  American connection
  Tully Castle
  Religious legacy
  Ulster Scots
  Settlement map
  Bardic poetry
Audio gallery


  Go further

Contact Us

by topic by time by people
Audio Gallery
<< Back to article

Brehon law did not give women equal rights
- Prof. Fergus Kelly

Hear audio version
Audio Clips

It has to be admitted that Brehon law was very much a male-oriented system and normally it did not give independent legal capacity to a woman. However, women did have certain legal rights, particularly if they had no brothers and had inherited a holding of land. Women could also enjoy the legal rights of an adult male if they had a profession such as poetry or medicine. Also in a marriage into which a woman had made the main property contribution, she made the decisions with regard to the household economy. And even in a marriage into which the wife had brought little or nothing, she was given the legal right to overturn her husband’s decisions.

<< Back to article Index
Printable versionPrintable version
Top of Page

Reading room Multimedia zone For kids How to

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy