The speaker in Fiacha Fola suffers from Hepatitis C, contracted through blood transfusions administered as a medical treatment during pregnancy. Through no fault of her own, her contaminated blood infects her quotidian life. Simple pleasures such as the rituals of courtship or the development of children fall under a grey pall of ill‑health. The speaker’s campaign to achieve redress in the aftermath of this cruel accident also features prominently. In this mordant collection of nearly 60 poems, a world‑weary anger sustains a voice contemplating and commenting on disparity and unfairness that never yields to polemic. The poems consistently contrast the human dimension of women’s lives with a bureaucracy struggling to contain and discredit its victims. Drawing on a wide range of references to build solidarity with women across time and cultures, the poems connect powerfully with the patriarchal oppression that pervades women’s lives. They reject the stark unceasing conflicts waged on the site of their bodies by opposing ideologies that contribute to a continual stigmatization of female identity. Referencing the work of feminist critics such as Máire Mhac a’ tSaoi, Susan Sontag, Sherry Ortner and Susan Hogan, this paper explores the ways in which the speaker in the poems recounts a tragedy that invokes ‘shame and guilt in us’ (Mhac a’ tSaoi, 2004: 10) as readers of this powerful work.