Monday 5 December 2016

Tragedies won't end until we stop judging single mothers

Barbara Scully

Published 10/05/2016 | 02:30

In Ireland of the 21st century, an Ireland that voted to give full marriage equality to same-sex couples, are we still a country where some young women cannot face the prospect of raising a child alone? (Picture posed) Photo: Getty Images/Blend Images
In Ireland of the 21st century, an Ireland that voted to give full marriage equality to same-sex couples, are we still a country where some young women cannot face the prospect of raising a child alone? (Picture posed) Photo: Getty Images/Blend Images

Over 30 years after Ann Lovett gave birth and died along with her baby son on a cold January day in a graveyard in Longford, 29 years after the status of illegitimacy was removed in Ireland, and over 40 years after the 'unmarried mothers allowance' - now the 'one-parent family payment' - was introduced, we still have young women giving birth in secret and abandoning their tiny newborns.

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Exactly a year ago, baby Maria was found on a roadside in west Dublin. Thankfully, she survived and has just celebrated her first birthday with her foster parents.

On Wednesday of last week, the body of a newborn baby girl was found in a recycling plant in Bray, Co Wicklow.

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