Celebrity chef Kevin Thornton reveals how he and wife gave their first child up for adoption in 1980s
* Kevin's then girlfriend Muriel was just 18 and he was 21 and were in a 'state of shock' when they said yes to giving up their child for adoption
* The couple had 'no clue' that Muriel was pregnant
* Their son was adopted by a couple in England
* Kevin and Muriel later married and had another son - but their firstborn was always on their mind
* They were later reunited with their eldest son when he turned 18
* He is a musician with children of his own now
Published 05/02/2014 | 02:30
CHEF Kevin Thornton has revealed how he and his wife gave their first-born child up for adoption in the 1980s.
The owner and head chef at Thornton's restaurant at The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin, said the couple were very young when they made the heartbreaking decision.
Kevin's then girlfriend Muriel was just 18 and he was 21 and were in a "state of shock" when they said yes to giving their child up for adoption.
Their son, named Edward, was given to adoptive parents in England where he was raised.
Kevin said that neither him nor Muriel "had a clue" that she was pregnant.
The chef travelled to the Rotunda hospital where Muriel's mother announced that the baby would be put up for adoption as this would be the best thing for him.
"I was in a state of shock and just said yes. I suppose that what gets to me is that I wasn't really man enough at the time to say no, and if I stood up for myself, how would I support the child?" he says in an interview with today's Herald.
Kevin – who is one of nine children – didn't even tell his own parents until years later, as his dad was a staunch Catholic.
He and Muriel later married and went on to have another son, Conor (19).
But Kevin said that he thought about his little boy every single day of his life.
"You didn't realise that you were pregnant in the first place, and then suddenly there's this baby and he's gone."
The couple got to meet their son 18 years later. Edward who now has three children of his own is a talented musician.
"I always knew I'd meet him when he was 18, and I used to pray for him every day," he said.