27 Jan 2019
Article by Jimmy Nsubuga writing for Metro.
A woman was shocked to discover her 103-year-old mum was still alive after searching for her for the past 61 years.
Eileen Macken, 81, had lost hope of finding her birth mother but made a breakthrough earlier this month. She tracked down her elderly parent with the help of a genealogist who decided to help her after she phoned into RTE Radio One’s Joe Duffy’s Liveline radio show, in Ireland, last year.
Mrs Macken had wanted to find her blood relatives because she felt lonely and also wanted to know her medical history so she could spot any potential problems for her two daughters.
She phoned back into the radio show last week to reveal she had found her birth mum after taking a DNA test.
She said: ‘The sadness that goes with being alone, even to this day, different things would set me off, I’d say, “if only I had a brother, if only I had a sister”, I think it’s just within you that you have no blood relatives. But I have now.’
Mrs Macken, who is married to husband Ronald, said she’d spoken to her mum but was unable to visit her ‘across the water’ for the moment because she recently had an eye operation.
She added: ‘My mum is 103 and she will soon be 104. I spoke to her on the phone but she couldn’t hear me. She’s a bit like myself, I’ve only one good ear.
‘She kept saying, “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.”
‘Unfortunately she is across the water and I’ve had two cousins who have come on to help me out since they got the word that I had found who my mother was and where she was.
‘They now know that all I want is to see her.’
Mrs Macken, who was raised in Dublin’s Kirwan House from two-years-old, said she wanted to scream from a mountain she was not an orphan anymore after beginning the search for her parents when she was 19.
She also found out she had two half-brothers who were still alive and were in their 70s.
She said she was desperate not to upset anyone after getting in contact with her blood relatives.