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81-year-old woman meets her mother for the first time after 60 years of searching

Eileen Macken spoke to Liveline this afternoon about meeting her mother Elizabeth, who’s 103.

AN IRISH WOMAN has been reunited with her mother for the first time after searching for her for over 60 years. 

Eileen Macken, an 81-year-old woman from Kildare, met her 103-year-old mother Elizabeth in April after a genealogist traced her back to an area in Scotland. 

Eileen was given up for adoption, and has been on RTÉ Radio 1′s Liveline before to share her story. It was after hearing Eileen recount the steps she has taken to try to find her mother on Liveline, that a genealogist got in touch to offer to help. 

“I’ll be 82 in August Joe, and I’ve never known my mum, I’ve never seen my mum, I’ve had no information whatsoever.” 

“Last August I got a call from the genealogist that he had found my mum, that she was alive at 103… Once I heard that, nothing would stop me to try to see her.”

Eileen said that her family were worried about Eileen visiting without getting an invitation first, which Eileen herself understood.

“But it went on and on until I decided I’d take the bull by the horns. So I went over with my daughter and my husband and her husband and I knocked on the door.

A gentleman opened the door, and I told him I was from Ireland, that I had found my mum here, and could we come in to see her.
And he said ‘certainly’.

“We came in and Joe, honestly, I haven’t got over the acceptance that I got.”

I was thinking look this is terrible what am I going to do, but I put up with it, they accepted me and I had a great chat with my mother.

Eileen’s mother Elizabeth will be 104 years old this Saturday.

“I went to see her, and Joe she is the most beautiful lady, a lovely family, they gave me a great welcome.”

Now, I know she’s my mum, and I did say it to her “You know I’m your daughter”.
And she just looked up at me and she took my hand, and we had a great chat and she never kind of accepted it, I think it’s nearly gone past her. But there was such a bond between the two of us Joe, it was fantastic. Such a kind lady.

“I said to my children ‘All my life, I love this lady that I don’t know who she is’.”

Eileen said that she was afraid to stay too long because she was elderly, and Eileen wanted to respect that. She said it was very hard to say goodbye when it was time to leave.

“My mother said to me ‘Oh I’d love to make you some tea, but I don’t think I’ll be able to.’ And I told her don’t worry at all about it. I don’t want tea I just want to chat to you’.”

Eileen thanked presenter Joe Duffy, the Liveline team, and everyone else who helped her or wished her well: “I’m such a happy lady now.”

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