Maeve Sheehan: Joan Burton was a TD when she found her mother - but too late
Children from the homes tales of success and the need for change
Labour leadership candidate shares her story with Maeve Sheehan and tells of tracing her family and the journey |to find her birth mother
THERE are thousands of photographs of Joan Burton, but only one of when she was a baby. The sole pictorial record of her infancy is on a very old passport which is stamped with entry visas, one for Newfoundland and one for the United States. She was probably just months old when the Sisters of Charity applied for it, expecting to ship her across the Atlantic to be adopted by a Canadian or an American family.
She was a thin child and it was thought she wasn’t strong enough for the journey. The nuns arranged for her to be “boarded out” with three different families until, at the age of two, her adoptive mother, Bridie Burton, came to the convent in Blackrock, gathered her in her arms with joy and took her home to Rialto Cottages in Dublin 8.