Girl interrupted: Citizenship and the Irish hijab debate

Máiréad Enright*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the case of Shekinah Egan, an Irish Muslim girl who asked to be allowed to wear the hijab to school. It traces the media and government response to her demand, and frames that demand as a citizenship claim. It focuses in particular on a peculiarity of the Irish response; that the government was disinclined to legislate for the headscarf in the classroom. It argues that - perhaps counter-intuitively - the refusal to make law around the hijab operated to silence the citizenship claims at the heart of the Egan case. To this extent, it was a very particular instance of a broader and ongoing pattern of exclusion of the children of migrants from the Irish public sphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-480
Number of pages18
JournalSocial and Legal Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • citizenship theory
  • feminism
  • hijab
  • Ireland
  • multiculturalism
  • Muslim
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Law


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