Woman, 81, meets 103-year-old mother for first time

An 81-year-old woman who met her 103-year-old mother for the first time says she had never been happier.

Eileen Macken grew up in the Bethany Home orphanage in Dublin and has spent most of her life looking for her birth mother.

A genealogist tracked her down in Scotland.

Ms Macken told RTE Radio 1’s Liveline programme: “Once I heard that, nothing would stop me trying to get to see her.”

I don't think I'll ever come down out of the cloud

She recalled: “I went over to see her and she’s the most beautiful lady, lovely family, they gave me a great welcome.

“We came in and, honestly, I haven’t got over the acceptance that I got.

“They accepted me and I had a great chat with my mother.”

The Bethany mother and baby home in Dublin has been one of a number scrutinised by a government-appointed Commission of Investigation.

Bethany was run by Protestant clergy.

Ms Macken travelled to Scotland with her family to meet Elizabeth, who celebrates turning 104 on Saturday.

The mother of three also discovered after meeting her mother that she has two half-brothers.

I told him I was from Ireland and that I had found my mum here and could we come in to see her, and he said, ‘Certainly’

When she knocked on the door, she was met by a man who turned out to be her half-brother.

She told Liveline: “I told him I was from Ireland and that I had found my mum here and could we come in to see her, and he said, ‘Certainly’.”

Ms Macken had a “great chat” with her mother during her three-day trip.

She said: “She was reading the newspaper and when she saw me, I said we were from Ireland and she said, ‘I was born in Ireland’.

“She was thrilled and she never let go of my hand.”

Ms Macken added: “I don’t think I’ll ever come down out of the cloud.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Commission refusing to clarify questions over death registers for Bessborough Mother and Baby Home

Bethany Home survivors disappointed over Government's refusal to extend 'fast track’ redress scheme

Zappone declines to give deadline for publication of report into illegal birth registrations

Mother and Baby Homes Commission called on to release details of buried children

More in this Section

Donohoe will have to 'form a judgement' on Brexit when presenting budget

People found guilty of perjury could face €100,000 fine under proposed laws

Taoiseach condemns treatment of ex-garda Majella Moynihan

Revenue warns of email and text scam


Lifestyle

Bake: Michelle Darmody's recipes for the perfect summer picnic

Why Doug and Monique Howlett are moving back home to New Zealand

Learner Dad: 'It’s not unusual for someone to go home in a different pants to the one they arrived in'

What’s the Occasion? What to wear on your next big day out

More From The Irish Examiner