Saturday 20 December 2014

Fitness coach Pat Henry on his search for his birth father: 'On her death bed, my mother wouldn't even tell who my father was'

Published 12/08/2014 | 12:08

Pat Henry
Pat Henry

Fitness coach Pat Henry has revealed that he is still searching for his birth father – six years on from when he found out that he was adopted.

The Dublin-based coach, who has worked with David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, and Matt Damon, discovered by chance that he was adopted when he was six-months-old.

“I found out five or six years ago that I was adopted, just by accident. My brother came over to the gym and he said he found out that he was adopted just by going to get his birth cert, and the girl said to him, you’re upstairs in the adopted section.”

He told RTE’s Kathryn Thomas: “I had no idea that he was adopted. Both our parents were dead. I went home, phoned my aunt, and during the phone conversation my aunt, it slipped that I was adopted too.”

“It was a shock but I didn’t really feel anything, one way or the other. I think I’m pretty good in my own self.”

Mr Henry tracked down his birth mother, who died a few months ago, but he found that she was not happy to hear from him.

“She admitted she was [my mother]. But she said I wasn’t wanted when I was a baby and I’m not wanted now so don’t make any contact.”

Mr Henry, desperate to find out his family history and medical history, urged his mother to meet him in Dublin.

“We met three days later outside the Abbey and we looked so alike it was a bit scary.”

“We met outside the Abbey and went to Sherry’s for a cup of tea. She was basically very cold. She said ‘I kept you for six months, put an ad in the paper, four people turned up and you were handed over. There was no official documentation at all’.”

The fitness coach admitted that he doesn’t look at himself directly in the mirror, due to his likeness to his mother.

“Even now today, I don’t really look at myself in the mirror anymore because the identification is so strong. If I’m combing my hair I’d look at my hair, I wouldn’t look at my face because the reflection brings back the strong memories of the identification.”

Mr Henry tried to track down an uncle who knew about the birth father, but sadly the uncle died before Mr Henry got to make contact with him.

“On her death bed, she wouldn’t even tell [her son] who my father was,” Mr Henry added.

 “I went to the funeral and I sat at the back of the church and I found it quite difficult listening to my brother talking about what a good woman she was.”

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