My questions arise from a scenario in Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, published in 1939, and pertain to Irish contraception and medical laws around or before 1939.

Contraception was illegal in Ireland from 1935 until 1980, when it was legalised with strong restrictions, later loosened. Owning and using contraceptive devices and pills was never prohibited, however, from 1935, it was illegal to sell or to import them.

  • In 1940 Ireland, could a man with a venereal disease obtain a condom legally?
  • I would think that given that the world war was on, the demand from nations for rubber would have made the supply of... er... rubbers in much of the world. While the Republic of Ireland was neutral during WWII, it would likely have suffered in part due to the Battle of the Atlantic... though I am reminded of a crude joke about the invention of the condums that relies on it not being made from rubber. – hszmv Dec 3 '20 at 17:25
  • We do see a "man's gummy article" next to the bed after love making. – fundagain Dec 3 '20 at 17:46
  • @hszmv: Finnegans Wake was actually published before the war broke out. – Nate Eldredge Dec 4 '20 at 1:07
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    @hszmv the mobilization and deployment around the world of millions of men greatly increased both demand for and production of prophylactics. Soldiers with VD make poor soldiers and generals know this - they made sure condoms were widely available – Dale M Dec 4 '20 at 1:57
  • @DaleM: Ireland was Neutral, meaning it wasn't involved in WWII. – hszmv Dec 4 '20 at 12:38

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