Monday 16 January 2017

‘Mam and Dad had a mantra… I was their special adopted daughter’- Evanne Ni Chuilinn on her parents’ openness about her adoption

Published 18/09/2016 | 11:33

Family: Evanne Ni Chulainn and daughter Peigi
Family: Evanne Ni Chulainn and daughter Peigi

Broadcaster Evanne Ni Chuilinn has commended her parents for always being open about her origins and said she always knew she was adopted.

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“Mam and dad had a mantra: I was their special adopted daughter,” Evanne told The Irish Independent’s Weekend Magazine.

The RTE star revealed that her parents’ supportive approach to her adoption encouraged her to seek out her birth mother Mary, who she now has a relationship with.

“I’ve a great relationship with my birth mother, Mary, whom I met when I was about 20. Mary’s in Tipperary and I’ve two half-sisters and a half-brother. The rivalry for the All Ireland was mighty,” she said.

Bottle and ambition: RTÉ's Evanne Ni Chulainn. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Bottle and ambition: RTÉ's Evanne Ni Chulainn. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Read more: Life lessons with Evanne Ní Chuilinn: My female colleagues and I have ambition and bottle and we're good at what we do

The Kilkenny woman, who has two children Seimi (4) and Peigi (1), spoke about losing her brother Cormac (29) to suicide in 2013 and said life was “changed utterly” after his death.

“I’d never spoken about suicide before, but when it happens to your family you start to talk about it. I was in Kilkenny for six weeks and I didn’t want to leave- I wanted to stay in that bubble. But then I had to go back to work. Everyone is lovely on the first day.

“But on the second day it’s like nothing happened. Your life has changed utterly and yet life goes on. It’s almost a relief to be able to talk about how you’re feeling to random strangers who have gone through the same thing,” she said.

RTÉ presenter Evanne Ní Chuilinn and her son Seimi playing golf at the Spawell Golf course in Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron.
RTÉ presenter Evanne Ní Chuilinn and her son Seimi playing golf at the Spawell Golf course in Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron.

Speaking about Cormac earlier this year Evanne said: "I try to think about him as a child. We were great buddies. We would have done everything together and that's what I go to now, when I think about Cormac," she said.

"I try to go back to that because he was a really happy child."

"We were ¬devastated but you have to try to understand how he was, he just wasn't able to stay," she said.

"We tried to keep him with us for as long as we could but he just wasn't able to stay."

RTE sports presenter Evanne Ni Chuilinn and Brian Fitzsimons shows off her eight-month old son Seimi at a photoshoot for VIP Magazine
RTE sports presenter Evanne Ni Chuilinn and Brian Fitzsimons shows off her eight-month old son Seimi at a photoshoot for VIP Magazine

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