Saturday 23 February 2019

Eileen (81) finally finds her 103-year-old mother

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Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

An elderly woman says she is the "happiest person alive" after finding her birth mother following a 61-year search.

Eileen Macken (81) was raised in an orphanage but recently made contact with her 103-year-old mother, who is living overseas.

Ms Macken had contacted RTÉ's 'Liveline' last year for help in tracking down her relatives, saying, "I was very upset that I was still on this planet and not having even one relative."

After her radio plea, the elderly lady - who grew up in an orphanage in Dublin - was contacted by a genealogist, who worked tirelessly for the almost a year to help her get in touch with her birth mother.

Astonishment

Finally, to Ms Macken's astonishment, there was a breakthrough.

"I can't believe it, and when I got the word that she was alive, all I wanted to do is to meet her," she told 'Liveline'.

"Unfortunately, she is across the water and I have had two cousins who have come on to help me out since they got the word that I have found who my mother was and where she was and they now know that all I want is to see her. I won't upset anybody, I won't give names or anything," she added.

Since first contact was made, Ms Macken has had a brief phone call with her mother, but there was difficulty in hearing each other down the telephone line.

"My mum is 103 and she'll soon be 104. I spoke to her on the phone but she couldn't hear me, she's a bit like myself ...I've only one good ear," she said.

"I'd love to go on a big mountain and scream it out to everybody.

"Now I'm not an orphan any more and the one thing in this world I want to do for my children, because I went through pretty hard times medically and the doctors couldn't understand, why don't you know this, why don't you know that.

"And I got a bit upset once and said 'Because I'm an orphan, I know nothing, absolutely nothing'," she said.

Ms Macken's cousins have also sent over some photographs of her relatives, one of which shows her mother when she was younger.

Sadness

The woman said she had promised her own children that they would know who their relatives were throughout the generations.

"The sadness that goes with being alone, even to this day different things would set me off and I would say if only I had a brother, if only I had a sister, I think it's just within you that you have no blood relatives. I have now," she said.

Now Ms Macken is hoping to go to visit her mother, but is unsure when this can take place as she has recently undergone a procedure in hospital and doesn't think she can travel yet.

However, she insists that at this stage "time is of the essence" and said: "I'm the happiest person alive, I really am".

Irish Independent

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