This film is based on the true story of Desmond Doyle a single father who loses his children to the Irish state. The lives of the Irish people of 1950s were in many ways controlled by the Catholic Church, which wielded its authority through the Irish government. Back then no one questioned (not aloud anyway) the authority of the church/state in family matters. Thousands of children were taken away from their homes and placed in orphanages. Doyle took his story to the courts and to the press arguing that it is a parent's constitutional right to raise his own children. Though this film clearly finds this authoritarian state to be disagreeable, it none-the-less sees the light side of the situation as well as the bad, and finds even the smallest opportunity for humor.