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Wednesday 24 January 2018

Married siblings to emigrate for 'support'

Edel O'Connell

A BROTHER and sister who married and are expecting their second child have said they plan to leave Ireland because they have no support here.

The siblings only discovered they shared the same father after they were already in a serious relationship and had one child.

In an interview with TV3 the couple said the news shattered their world, but they have since learned to deal with it. The couple, who hail from different Irish towns about 100 miles apart, were both out with friends when they met in a nightclub several years ago.

They were married at a civil ceremony in Dublin recently at which their father was present.

Because it is illegal for siblings to marry, the pair are using the false names, Maura and James.

The couple, who are expecting their second child in March, say they understand why people would criticise them for putting a second child's life at risk.

Their first child was born with an array of medical complications but Maura says although the second pregnancy was not planned she had no regrets about it.


"It is my situation and I will deal with it," she said."

"Deep down I know it is wrong -- it is always at the back of my mind, but I try to deal with it as best I can.

"People who are not in this situation would not really understand it."

The couple also admitted that if they hadn't had a child, they would probably have walked away from the relationship when they learned the truth.

Now, they say they are worried about how their children will cope when they realise their parents are related.

They told how they actively sought the help of a child psychiatrist, but were not offered any support.

"We would very much like to talk to somebody about this, but we got the impression that as soon as the psychiatric services discovered who we were the shutters came down," said James. This, he said, was one of the primary reasons the couple planned to emigrate.

James said he believed genetics had something to do with why their attachment was so intense.


"Genetic attraction played a big role.

"When I look back now I realise we had these types of feelings that you just don't experience with anybody else," he explained.

"The intensity is so much greater; you can't stop thinking about that person -- it becomes like an addiction.

"We knew it was wrong and that we should walk away, but I just couldn't do it," he said.

However, despite this, James said he wouldn't recommend their type of a relationship to anyone.

The couple tell their story in an interview with 'Ireland AM' this morning, during which their identities are concealed.

They said they now want a fresh start and plan to emigrate soon in a bid to keep their identities secret.

Irish Independent

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