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Saturday 18 November 2017

Loose Women Coleen: I fear my half sister could be buried in Tuam Mother and Baby Home

Coleen Nolan speaking on ITV's Loose Women about her fears for her half-sister
Coleen Nolan speaking on ITV's Loose Women about her fears for her half-sister
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Loose Women's Coleen Nolan has revealed that she fears her half-sister could have been among those buried in the Tuam Mother and Baby home.

The presenter was discussing the discovery that children were buried in an unmarked grave, in what is thought to be a water or sewage tank, in the Co Galway home and revealed her fears for her own half sister.

Her half sister was born in Ireland after her dad had an affair. She has previously talked about finding out about her half sibling when she was in her 20s.

But she has never had any contact with her and when she heard the news emerging from Ireland in recent days it "hit home" she said.

“It just hit home to me because I’ve talked before about the half-sister I’ve never met, who was born over in Ireland,” she said.

“I’ve always thought why she has never got in touch, maybe she was adopted and sent to America...We’re not difficult to find if she did know about us.

“I just read this and thought, she could have been one of those babies.”

“It would have been around that time. She would have been born in the mid-1950s. I was just so shocked.

"All this time, I've wondered 'did she die at child birth? Was she adopted? Did she know about us?'

"You know when you just think 'please don't let her have been there'," she said.

Researcher Catherine Corless in 2014 compiled 796 death certs of babies who died in the home. Last week the Commission on Mother and Baby Homes confirmed that work at the site had uncovered "significant quantities" of human remains and will now go onto investigate further.

The Commission is currently examining how unmarried mothers and their babies were treated between 1922 and 1998 at 18 State-linked religious institutions.

*Information on counselling services:

There is dedicated telephone Information line being made available for people seeking further information over the coming days.  Those seeking factual information may contact the Information Line @ Telephone 01-6473118 / 01-6473232 during Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm.

Anyone affected can also directly contact the HSE information line on 1850-241-850.

Those seeking adoption information and tracing information may wish to visit the following sites:

Tusla (the Child and Family Agency) - www.tusla.ie or

The Adoption Authority of Ireland - www.aai.gov.ie.

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