Thursday 19 April 2018

'What a conversation we had, absolutely brilliant' - Man (70s) speaks to daughter for first time thanks to Liveline

Radio star Joe Duffy. Photo: Tony Gavin
Radio star Joe Duffy. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sean Nolan

A man in his late 70s who had never spoken to his daughter has told Liveline of his delight after the RTÉ Radio 1 programme helped them find each other.

William Edward Hayes told Joe Duffy today about a phone call he had this morning with his long-lost daughter.

"I've never known anything like it," he said. "I got a call from my daughter, living in London. What a conversation we had, absolutely brilliant."

Mr Hayes appeared on Monday's Liveline where he explained that he was resident of an institution, John Reynolds home in Lytham St Anne's, in the 1950s.

From the age of 12 he was sexually abused by an Irish nun and when she became pregnant she left the order and he left the school.

The nun returned to Ireland, gave birth to the child, a girl, and returned to the UK, while the baby girl was adopted.

Mr Hayes appealed for anyone who had any information to help find his child to get in touch with Liveline.

According to the show, the nun passed away in 2002 but her family recognised the story.

As they has already been reunited with the child given up for adoption they asked her if she was willing to speak to her father.

She agreed and the father and daughter spoke on the phone for the first time this morning, where he found out she had been searching for him for 20 years.

"We got on like a house on fire," Mr Hayes said who also learned that he had some grandchildren he was not aware of and the family were planning a reunion as soon as possible.

"I feel as though I could run there now," he told Liveline. "We are both a bit elevated. I never experienced anything like it."

In a statement read out on the show, the Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph who ran the school Mr Hayes attended said: "We are desperately sad that abuse took place to Mr Hayes while he was placed under our care.

"The Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph have offered our sincere and unreserved apology for the abuse he suffered while resident at the John Reynolds Home and all the subsequent pain and trauma which followed the actual abuse.

"There is no place for abuse in the Church and along with every other agency caring for children and vulnerable adults we now have stringent safeguarding policies which aim to prevent any possible recurrence of what happened to Mr Hayes."

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