In Corran, near Leap in west Cork, is a community of two contemplative nuns:  Mother Irene (61), Sister Anne Marie (21). Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

“I personally have been living as a hermit for the best part of 30 years,” Mother Irene says. “I was the first person to make my vows in Ireland as a (...)

The year 1984 became notorious for a number of stories involving women, pregnancy outside marriage, and their treatment by society, church and State(...)