Eileen grew up in an orphanage, Kirwan House, in Dublin and had first started searching for her family when she was 19-years-of-age. Last year, she was on the radio show Liveline with Joe Duffy to ask for help.
She told Duffy she was very sad that she had been on this planet for so long and still did not have so much as one relative.
She was approached by a genealogist to try and help her find her relatives. Eileen eventually tracked down her family! She, once again, contacted the show to let Duffy and his listening audience hear about her incredible journey.
Eileen said that she believes she is the oldest orphan in Ireland. She was born in the Bethany Home and moved to Kirwan House when she was 2-years old.
She was given someone else’s birth certificate when she turned 16 and kept that identity for 60 years. She didn’t know that her certificate and the family was not hers until she had a DNA run.
The Pain Of Not Knowing
When talking about her mum, she was shocked to discover that she was alive and all she wanted to do was meet her. She knew absolutely nothing about her background or had absolutely no medical history.
She couldn’t believe that doctors were constantly asking her question after question why she didn’t know this or that? She was very upset and at one point just said “Because I’m an orphan. I know nothing, absolutely nothing”.
The 81-year-old woman is married to her husband Ronald and has 3 children but she always wanted to find her birth family.
She could not fully understand being so alone. Many people would ask her why she would bother with this search. She would simply respond that she didn’t know what they meant. She said if you put yourself in my shoes and know you are on your own.
The worst thing about being alone, many different things would set her off. She’d think if she only had a brother or a sister and then realize that it’s something inside herself because she had no blood relatives. Well, now she does!
She has finally spoken to her birth mother over the phone and is planning to meet her very soon. She will have to wait a bit because she cannot fly over water until after her operation.
Her mother is now 103-years-old and will turn 104 shortly. It was difficult talking to her over the phone because she could not hear Eileen.
She is across the water from her mum but she has 2 cousins who have come to help her out since they found out that she found out who her natural mother is and where she lives.
She told everyone, she wanted to go to the highest mountain and scream at the top of her lungs “I am not an orphan anymore!
We all wish her the greatest success when she can finally meet up with her mum after all these many, many years. May she find closure knowing she is no longer an orphan but like others, she has a family.
We hope they will both find great joy and realize they now have their own small family. Hopefully, she will keep everyone posted on her incredible journey and share her joy! Good Luck, Eileen!