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Baby boom or bust? Women choose smaller families

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — Olivia Mitchell who made it to the Dail in the general election last year on her third attempt, is one of six children. She describes herself as coming from Ireland’s “sacrifice” generation, those adults born in the 1940s and ’50s.

“We came at the wrong population-bulge time, when there was a high dependency both of elderly and young people to support and many of the income earners were emigrating,” she said recently.

Now representing the predominantly middle-class Dublin South constituency for Fine Gael, Mitchell was born in Birr, Co. Offaly, in 1947 and when she was growing up large families was the norm.

“I was one of six and my husband was one of five and they were fairly typical families,” she said.

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