Elvis’s Toenail

Elvis's Toenail by Fionnuala Kenny

In their purest form, rules are meant to protect us, to keep us from harm. But throughout our collective history, there’s always been a fierce debate: what’s more important, the letter of the law or its spirit?

Ireland during the 1960’s, like many countries, it was still dominated by the rule of the Catholic Church. Many things considered to be freedoms in modern society – like a woman’s right to choose or even to keep her baby out of wedlock – were staunchly prohibited and fiercely punished.

When a runaway pregnant teenager shows up at a Dublin seamstress shop desperate for a job, her coworkers must decide whether to surrender her to the Church or break the rules in order for her protection.