Mothers chatting at the entrance to a tenement building in Dublin, circa 1945. The contraceptive pill arrived in Ireland in 1963, however contraception was not legalised here until 1980 Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Redemptorist “How many children have you?” asked The big Redemptorist. “Six, Father.” “The last, When was it born?” “Ten months ago.” “I cannot a(...)