Eileen Macken, 81, grew up in a Dublin orphanage and searched unsuccessfully for her birth mother for more than six decades before hearing from a genealogist who had managed to track her down. Speaking to RTÉ, Macken said that she finally met her birth mother, Elizabeth, and two of her half-brothers in Scotland last month. On Saturday, Elizabeth celebrated her 104th birthday.
“I went over to see her and she’s the most beautiful lady, lovely family, they gave me a great welcome,” Macken recalled. “Honestly I haven’t got over the acceptance that I got.”
Macken, who says she was just 19 when she first began her lifelong effort to identify her birth mother, described her three-day visit with Elizabeth as one of the happiest moments of her life. Her mother, she said, was initially confused by her appearance. But after Macken explained that she was her daughter, “she was thrilled and she never let go of my hand.”
“I felt, how could I be one person on this planet and having nobody — I had to go and search,” said Macken. “We had three days of wonderful happiness that I’ve never ever had before. I don’t think I’ve done any work in the house [since coming back], I’m that happy. I’m going around singing. You’ve no idea what it’s done to me, I’m just so happy.”
Watch video coverage of the story below.
Eileen Macken, who was born in the Bethany Home in Dublin, has been reunited with her mother after 60 years of searching for her pic.twitter.com/Gc3X7WRr02
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 9, 2019