| 12.8°C Dublin

Celebrity chef Kevin Thornton reveals how he and wife gave their first child up for adoption in 1980s


Kevin and Muriel Thornton

Kevin and Muriel Thornton

Restaurateur Kevin Thornton and his wife Muriel

Restaurateur Kevin Thornton and his wife Muriel


Kevin and Muriel Thornton

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.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

"I always knew I'd meet him when he was 18, and I used to pray for him every day," he said.

Claire Murphy

Most Watched