Sarah’s Letter

A heartbreaking voice from the past – read this letter, sent by a single mother in 1970s Ireland, reaching out in desperation.

Waterford, 7th October 1973

“To whom is in charge,

I am writing to you to ask you if there is anything that you could do to help me. I am three months pregnant, but I have a boy of 7½ years. I live with my three brothers as my mother and father are dead.

I know if my brothers find out they will probably kick me out, I guess I would not blame them. Once is bad enough.

I have some money earned. Is there anything that you could do for me as I am in a terrible state of mind? I have not been to the doctor yet as I am ashamed to go.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah McCarthy”

For too long in Ireland, one-parent families have been forced into shame and isolation. And still today, our Constitution fails to protect all families, because it only recognises a married couple as a family.

The Government are currently looking at article 41.3 of the Constitution on the definition of the family. We need your support to make sure they know how important it is that ALL kinds of families are recognised and protected.

Join our campaign for a more inclusive version of family in Ireland’s Constitution.