Cherish All The Children – a Documentary about our Groundbreaking Founders

“A one hour documentary that tells the story of brave single mothers who took on the government.”

Cherish All The Children is the remarkable story of One Family’s founders; those brave women who refused to give up their children for adoption 40 years ago. They formed Cherish, changed the law on illegitimacy and fought to get a single parent’s allowance.

Cherish was set up by single parents, for single parents and the documentary features interviews with our core founders Maura O’Dea Richards, Margaret Murphy, Evelyn Forde and Annette Hunter Evans who share their personal experiences and the challenges of being pregnant and single in Ireland four decades ago. It also features first President of Cherish, Mary Robinson, and Nuala Feric and Anna Lee, first staff members; with other contributors including CEO of One Family Karen Kiernan and Director of Policy, Stuart Duffin.

Cherish/One Family has brought about massive social and legal change for both parents and children since its foundation in a time when unmarried mothers were encouraged to give their ‘illegitimate’ babies up for adoption and to ‘mend their ways’; a time when contraception was unavailable and abortion unmentionable.

Cherish All The Children explores how Cherish was responsible for changing the law on illegitimacy and the abolition of that term, and for successfully campaigning for the introduction of a Single Parent’s Allowance.

The documentary was first broadcast on Today FM on Sunday 29 December 2013 at 9am. You can listen to it online here.


  • Mary Robinson: first President of Cherish
  • Maura O’Dea Richards, Margaret Murphy, Evelyn Forde, Annette Hunter Evans: founder members of Cherish
  • Nuala Feric and Anna Lee: first staff members of Cherish
  • Minister Frances Fitzgerald
  • Fintan O’Toole: Irish Times journalist and social commentator
  • Karen Kiernan, CEO One Family (formerly Cherish)
  • Stuart Duffin, Director Policy & Programmes One Family (formerly Cherish)


  • Producer/ Presenter: Hilary Fennell
  • Editor: Daragh Dukes
  • Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee