In Circe a combative Edy Boardman quotes a combative
unnamed woman: "You never seen me in the mantrap with
a married highlander, says I. The likes of her!" The reference
is to an infamous spot in Dublin's Monto district where
streetwalkers ingeniously picked men's pockets.
In an oral history documented by Terry Fagan's North
Inner City Folklore Project, Mary Foran recalls that
"Purdon Street was known as 'The Man Trap' because when they
got the men down there, there was no way out." But Fagan,
himself a lifetime resident of the area, recounts a much more
specific origin of the phrase. In his street tours of the
North Inner City, he observes that the man trap was a building
on Purdon Street where prostitutes would steal money from men
while their pants were down and then flee through a nearby
door. Pursuers rushing through the door encountered three more
closed doors, any one of which might be the right channel.