81-Year-Old Woman Finds Her 103-Year-Old Birth Mum After 61-Year Search
An 81-year-old woman has spoken about how she discovered her 103-year-old mum was still alive after spending the last six decades searching for her.
Eileen Macken had spent more than half a century looking for her birth family.
She grew up in Kirwan House orphanage in Dublin and had been searching for her family since she was 19. Last year she appeared on Joe Duffy's Liveline radio show on RTÉ Radio 1 in Ireland to ask for help.
She told the show at the time: "I was very upset that I was still on this planet, not having even one relative."
With the help of a genealogist, the Mirror reports, Eileen eventually managed to track her family down and contacted the show again to inform Duffy and his listeners of her incredible discovery.
"I think I am Ireland's oldest orphan" says 80-year-old Eileen Macken. Born in the Bethany Home and moved to Kirwan House at 2. Given someone else's birth cert at 16 and lived under that identity for 60 years. Found out, after DNA, the family she thought was hers was not. #Shame pic.twitter.com/ZInfqvaYMe
- Stay With Me Exhibition (@mynamesisbridge) June 30, 2018
Speaking about her mum, she said: "I can't believe it, when I got the word that she was alive, all I want to do is to meet her."
Eileen added that she knows nothing about her background or even her medical history.
She said: "The doctors couldn't understand - 'Why don't you know this, why don't you know that?' I got a bit upset once and I said, 'Because I'm an orphan. I know nothing, absolutely nothing.'"
The 81-year-old is married to husband Ronald and has children of her own but says she always wanted to find her birth family.
She said: "I couldn't understand, being alone, that's all I could call it. A lot of people have said to me, 'Why do you bother?' I say, 'What do you mean? Put yourself in my shoes and you're on your own.'
"The sadness that goes with being alone, even to this day, different things would set me off. I'd say, 'If only I had a brother, if only I had a sister.' I think it's just within you that you have no blood relatives. But I have now."
The mum-of-three says she has spoken to her birth mother over the phone and is planning to meet her soon, but can't fly 'over the water' until after an operation.
She said: "My mum is 103 and she will soon be 104. I spoke to her on the phone but she couldn't hear me. She's a bit like myself, I've only one good ear.
"She kept saying, 'I can't hear you, I cant hear you.'
"Unfortunately she is across the water and I've had two cousins who have come on to help me out since they got the word that I had found who my mother was and where she was.
"They now know that all I want is to see her."
Eileen also found out that she has two half-brothers in their 70s.
She added: "I'd love to go and scream it from a mountain - 'I'm not an orphan anymore!'"
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@mynamesisbridge