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One Family Documentary Wins at New York Festivals

One Family is proud and delighted that the Today FM documentary Cherish All The Children, produced and presented by Hilary Fennell, has won an award in the Social Issues Category at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.

The one-hour radio documentary explores the founding of Cherish/One Family in 1972 and includes interviews with the organisation’s first President, Mary Robinson; our wonderful founders; current staff and clients about what we do today; and many more. It is a fascinating, moving and insightful look at the reality of life for women in the 70s who were pregnant and unmarried, and the achievements, evolution and progression of our organisation.

Our founders recall the lengths they had to go to in hiding their pregnancies – even creating outfits with over-sized pockets and cardigans – and the fear and stress they experienced but they share numerous funny and inspirational stories too; stories filled with courage, resourcefulness and camaraderie.

Congratulations to our brave and eloquent founders, to Hilary Fennell, to Today FM and to all who participated.

Cherish All The Children, which was partially recorded here in Cherish House, was first broadcast on Today FM on 29 December 2013. It is available to listen to here.

To find out more about our history, click here and to download the fascinating book Single Issue by our founding member Maura O’Dea Richards, click here.

Maura O'Dea Richards_Karen Kiernan_Graduation 2013

Pictured at One Family Graduation 2013

Foreground: Cherish/One Family founder Maura O’Dea Richards

Background: Current CEO, Karen Kiernan

Photo Credit: Paul Sherwood


Modern Family on Today FM featuring One Family

Modern Family is a new Today FM four-part documentary series on family diversity in Ireland, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and narrated by Ray D’Arcy and produced by Mary Carroll.

The series aims to explore the changing face of modern families. Part 4 is a focus on one-parent families and separated parents sharing parenting. It features interviews with one of our founders, Evelyn Forde, and other One Family friends and colleagues.

The four episodes will be first broadcast over this Easter Weekend as below:

  1. Modern Family Ep1: Same-sex parents | Friday 18 April 10.30am (Listen back here)
  2. Modern Family Ep2: Families with disabilities | Saturday 19 April 10.30am (Listen back here)
  3. Modern Family Ep3: Immigrant families | Sunday 20 April 9.30am (Listen back here)
  4. Modern Family Ep4: One-parent families | Monday 21 April 10.30am (Listen back here)

Note that we will update this post with links to listen back to each episode as they become available.

Further details:

Episode 1 – Same-sex parents More than two decades ago, when Bernadette and Ann decided to start a family as a lesbian couple, they were ahead of their time. Together they raised their two sons, Conor and Darragh in a society where they sometimes felt isolated and stigmatised as same-sex parents. Clare and Aishling met when they were in school. When Clare hit her 30s the pair started talking about having children. They decided to use donor sperm for artificial insemination and they now have a son, Darragh. Glenn and Adriano became the first gay couple in the state to have their civil partnership formally recognised back in January 2011. Glenn has a nine year-old daughter and shares her parenting duties with her mother.

Episode 2 – Families with disabilities Until the age of 18 Julie lived in institutions – residential centres for children with disabilities. She was one of the first children from the hospital to attend the local secondary school and was the first person in a wheelchair to be recruited in the Civil Service. She is married to Mick and has three children. She talks about the challenges she faced in 1970s Ireland, a society where disabled people were invisible. Cerebral Palsy sufferer Ken Kelly is engaged to Gillian Murray, who has Spina Bifida. They want to move in together but there is a lot that has to be considered. Kieran Coppinger is from Mervue in Galway and has Down Syndrome and he talks about his desire to find a girlfriend and his burgeoning acting career.

Episode 3 – Immigrant families Dr Moosajee Bhamjee was Ireland’s first black, Muslim TD. Originally from South Africa (born to Indian parents), he came to Dublin in 1965 where he studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons. He tells us how Irish society has evolved since he arrived over forty years ago. Born in Italy and raised in Sri Lanka, broadcaster and social justice activist Dil Wickremasinghe feels thoroughly Irish. She moved here fourteen years ago and as a gay woman she felt immediately welcome. Tomasz Kostienko and his family came to Ireland in 2007. Tomasz felt accepted straight away and his three children now call Ireland home but he dreams of returning to Poland.  Others have not felt so welcome. Refugee Lassane Ouedraogo arrived here from Burkina Faso seven years ago. He has found it difficult to be accepted in and has experienced racism from Irish people.

Episode 4 – One-parent families Today in Ireland, over half a million people live in one-parent families. However, a generation ago, being a lone parent was strongly disapproved of. When Evelyn Forde realised she was pregnant in 1973, she was faced with the heartbreaking dilemma of whether or not to put her child up for adoption. Labour TD Ciara Conway became pregnant in her final year of college. Her daughter Aeva-May is now 11 years old and Ciara speaks about the difficulties of juggling a hectic work and family life. Three years ago Ciara met Gary and they married at Christmas. Aeva-May talks about bringing Gary into their family. Bonnie Brady is raising her son Jayden alone. She speaks about how her life changed dramatically when Jayden arrived and how difficult it is to make ends meet and pursue her career while parenting alone. Paul and his partner separated when their son Eoin was six months old. They share parenting duties now, but spent years fighting over access. It took Paul a long time to learn that every decision he made had to be in Eoin’s best interest, not his.

One Family and EBS announce Family Day celebrations and national art competition

Press Release





Family Day | Sunday, 19 May 2013 | 

Celebrate families, celebrate your family.

(Dublin, 18 April 2013) One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families and EBS celebrate the diversity of families in Ireland with Family Day 2013. This free, family-friendly day out takes place in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens on Sunday, 19 May from 11am to 5pm. Family Day celebrations also include a national art competition for young people.

Family Day was launched today by Anton Savage of Today FM. All family types are invited to enjoy Family Day including one-parent families, step families, the traditional two-parent married family, adoptive and foster families, blended and extended families, and those with opposite and same sex parents. UN International Day of Families is held on 15 May annually and inspires the Family Day celebration. This is the third year for events to take place in the Iveagh Gardens and it is growing every year, attracting over 5,000 visitors in 2012.

Family Day offers entertainment and fun for all ages. All activities are free. New events specially designed for Family Day in 2013 include a pop-up participatory installation by artist Michelle Browne in partnership with IMMA, which invites families to compete in a buggy assault course.  Michelle is currently in residence at IMMA’s studios and this Family Day event comes from an ongoing research project with mothers who have young children, exploring how they experience and negotiate Dublin city with their buggies.

MC Al Kazam, magician extraordinaire, will enthrall all ages while overseeing the smooth running of the music and dance performances on the stage, and arts workshops from organisations including Fighting Words, Imaginosity and The Ark will intrigue young children and teenagers. The FAI’s goal scoring challenge and a traditional sports arena will keep everyone on their toes and when it’s time to take a well-earned rest, Family Day-goers can enjoy their own picnic or visit the food village on site where tasty treats can be purchased.

This is the fourth year that EBS has partnered with One Family to acknowledge International Day of the Family.  Barry Delaney, Head of EBS Marketing, said: “EBS has worked closely with One Family over the past four years to build and develop a flagship event which celebrates families in Ireland. We are delighted that it continues to get bigger and better every year and that more and more families get to come and celebrate together on this day. The focus on families is in keeping with our positioning as an organisation that is helping all kinds of families get on in life. This is a great partnership for EBS and we are delighted to play a part in its continued success.”

Karen Kiernan, Director of One Family, commented: “One Family has been promoting International Day of the Family in Ireland for the past decade and building on Family Day for the past three years. Mothers’ Day is for mums and Fathers’ Day is for dads but not every child can celebrate those days. Family Day is for everyone to celebrate all types of families. We invite every family, workplace and school in Ireland to celebrate Family Day.”

Those who cannot attend events in the Iveagh Gardens are encouraged to host their own Family Day event which can be included on the Family Day site by emailing details to

The Family Day art competition is open for entries until 31 May 2013 to young people up to the age of 18 with a prize of €500.  Entries can be submitted at local EBS offices nationwide or emailed to Last year over 1,200 entered the art competition with their wonderful family portraits. This year’s theme is ‘My family is …’ Full details are on

Family Day is presented by One Family and EBS, with the support of Today FM, OPW and Dublin City Council.

Further information about Family Day is available on


About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 and is Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families.  It offers support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to those working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of One Family’s work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. These services include the lo-call askonefamily national helpline on 1890 622 212, counselling, and training courses for parents and for professionals.


Family Day | A celebration of the diversity of the family with entertainment and activities for all ages | Sunday, 19 May 2013 | Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2 | 11am – 5 pm | Free | 01 662 9212 |


Pics released today by Photocall Ireland.

For further information or images, please contact:

Shirley Chance for One Family | t: 01 662 9212 / 087 414 8511 | e:

Claire McGovern, Q4PR for EBS | t:  086 379 7291



One Family founder Maura O’Dea on Today FM

Here is One Family founder Maura O’Dea and Director Karen Kiernan on Today FM’s The Last Word last Thursday – its in part 3 and starts at 10 mins 40 seconds in

Listen here


Ian Dempsey Launches Family Day 2012 for One Family

Press Release



5 April 2012 – To mark International Day of the Family, One Family, Ireland’s leading organisation for one-parent families, and EBS are inviting all families in Ireland to attend a Family Day Picnic and a free day of fun and entertainment in The Iveagh Gardens from 11am – 5pm on Sunday 13th May 2012. Those who can’t make the picnic can hold their own event or enter the Family Day art competition by logging on to

Today FM offer media support to Family Day and, speaking at the launch, broadcaster Ian Dempsey explained: “Family Day is an annual celebration of the diversity of families and family life across the world.” He added: “Families come in all shapes and sizes and Family Day is a day for everyone to celebrate their family, no matter what its make-up, and to think about what family really means.”

At the Family Day Picnic there will be lots of free events for families to take part in including family sports day activities, children’s entertainment, face painting, arts and crafts workshops as well as storytelling sessions. For those who don’t have time to prepare a picnic there will be a food village on site for the day serving a range of quality refreshments.

EBS have partnered with One Family for three years to mark International Day of the Family. Speaking today Aidan Power, Head of Marketing and Communications EBS, said: “EBS is delighted to be partnering with One Family to celebrate International Day of the Family for the third year in a row. Over the years it’s been great to see so many families take part and mark the day in some way. This year we’re also asking people to enter the Family Day art competition. It’s simple – all you have to do is draw your family and drop your entry into your local EBS office or post it to One Family. I hope everyone celebrates the day in some shape or form and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you on the 13th of May.”

You could win €500*for you and your family through the Family Day art competition by simply drawing or painting your family portrait. Entries will be accepted from those under 18. Just drop your portrait into your local EBS office or post it to One Family, 2 Lower Pembroke St, Dublin 2 and you will be entered into a prize draw.

If you can’t make it to Dublin then you can hold your own event and register it at The type of family event you hold is entirely up to you and can be held any time during the week of Monday 7th – Sunday 13th May. Organisations may want to organise a family themed arts and crafts project, or a story telling hour or even a formal talk. Families may prefer to have a family outing such as a treasure-hunt, or a family X-Factor competition.

Karen Kiernan, Director of One Family, the national organisation for one-parent families, said: “This year is One Family’s 40th anniversary – and now more than ever, we need your help. Lone parents were badly affected by the last budget and we can hardly cope with the number of calls to our askonefamily national helpline. So, we’d be delighted if people would consider turning their events into fundraisers for our helpline so that we can reach out and help even more people who parent alone or share parenting – and their children.”

*Terms and conditions apply

For further information about how to celebrate Family Day with One Family and EBS log onto


For photographs of children with One Family, EBS and Ian Dempsey at the launch or further information please contact:

Karen Kiernan, Director, One Family 01-6629212 /086 8509191

Suzanne Sullivan, Q4PR, 086-3797291

Notes to editors:

UN definition of the family: “any combination of two or more persons who are bound together by ties of mutual consent, birth and/or adoption or placement and who, together assume responsibility for, inter alia, the care and maintenance of group members, the addition of new members through procreation or adoption, the socialisation of children and the social control of members”.

For more information on UN International Day of the Family see

About One Family:
One Family is Ireland’s leading organisation providing specialist support services for people parenting alone and sharing parenting. Services include parenting and skills training, counselling, parent mentoring and a national helpline askonefamily which can be reached on 1890 66 22 12 or