Saturday 22 October 2016

War reporter appeals for help in tracing Irish father News Desk

Published 11/04/2015 | 11:52

Kate Adie in Waterford
Kate Adie in Waterford

Veteran war correspondent Kate Adie has renewed efforts to find her father, a Waterford man that her birth mother met briefly during World War II.

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The by-product of a doom love affair, Ms Adie has been looking for her father, a man named John Kelly, for the last twenty years.

“I’ve always had a curiosity about my father; for example, while I know he was from Waterford, I don’t know if he was from the city or the county,” she said.

“I have met dead end after dead end when it comes to finding out more about him.”

“I know he spoke to my mother about travelling to America, but such talk would have been quite common in the period in question.”

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, the former BBC correspondent said she has been trying to trace her father who had a brief liaison with her mother, Babe Dunnett in Lincolnshire in 1944 when Ms Dunnett’s husband was serving as an army medic in World War II.

“My mother had a whirlwind romance with a man from Waterford and I was the result,” said Adie who was put for up adoption by her birth mother soon after her birth.

She began looking for her birth mother after her adoptive parents died and her birth mother told how she had fallen in love with John Kelly who had come with his brother, Michael from Waterford to work at Stamford in Lincolnshire.

“They worked for an engineering firm in Stamford - they were a little older than my mother, she was 25 and they were in their early 30s - they had travelled from Waterford and they were both dark haired, full of fun, lively lively men,” she said.

“My mother never felt abandoned by John. He knew he couldn’t stay, just as I knew, given the societal norms of the time, that my mother, as a married woman with another child, couldn’t keep me.”

While Ms Adie ultimately developed a loving relationship with her birth mother, who died last year aged 94, what became of her father remains a mystery.

“He knew I existed. He knew he had a daughter. But I know so little about him and I would love to know more about my roots”

"If there is anyone in Waterford, or anywhere else in Ireland for that matter, who may be able to shed some light in relation to my father, that would mean a great deal to me.”

Those with information about Ms Adie father should contact John Hammond (on behalf of Ms Adie) on 087 9287718 or 051 4555581.

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