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'I was dismissed. The word 'illegitimate' is on my papers' - Evanne Ní Chuilinn tells her adoption story

RTÉ star Evanne Ní Chuilinn tells Tanya Sweeney why legislation to allow adopted people like her access to birth information must not delay

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Roots: Evanne Ní Chuilinn met her birth mother when
she was in her teens. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Roots: Evanne Ní Chuilinn met her birth mother when she was in her teens. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Roots: Evanne Ní Chuilinn met her birth mother when she was in her teens. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Growing up, Evanne Ní Chuilinn couldn't have wished for a more loving, caring and supportive family. She also knew from a young age about her 'second mum' - Mary, the woman who gave birth to her and had her adopted by Kilkenny-based Cathal and Catherine Cullen.

Yet when the RTÉ sports journalist was growing up, she couldn't help but notice the small differences between herself and her family. Where Evanne is blonde and statuesque, for instance, her sister Aine was "much shorter, and looked like Audrey Hepburn".

"I had friends who hated looking like their siblings, but if you grow up in your family of origin or birth, you don't realise what you would be missing," Evanne reflects. "When I was 16, you have the general insecurity of being a teenager, especially in an all-girls' school, which is when I became really self-conscious about being tall, curious to know more about who I am."


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