'Ireland's oldest orphan' finally meets her 104-year-old mother after a six-decade long search

A genealogist tracked down 81-year-old pensioner Eileen Macken's mother, 104-year-old Elizabeth, to Scotland


                            'Ireland's oldest orphan' finally meets her 104-year-old mother after a six-decade long search

An 81-year-old Irish pensioner, who grew up in an orphanage, finally met her 104-year-old biological mother, after a search that lasted six decades.

The meeting betwen Eileen Macken, who grew up in Bethany Home orphanage in Dublin, Ireland, and her mother Elizabeth was made possible after a genealogist tracked down the mother in Scotland.

While growing up, Macken did not know much about the mother who had given her up for adoption. However, it took 61 years to track her biological mother and after placing a call to RTÉ's Liveline programme, Eileen made a surprise visit to meet Elizabeth in Scotland. Macken was accompanied by her family and visited Elizabeth who turned 104-year-old on May 11. The family visited Elizabeth in April despite not receiving an invitation. 

Elizabeth with her daughter Eileen in Scotland. (Source: RTE Live)

 

When Macken learned that her mother was still alive, she was shocked and was sure that she should make the trip unannounced.

According to Belfast Telegraph, Macken said, "I knocked on the door and a gentleman opened the door and I told him I was from Ireland and had found out my mum was here and could we come in to see her and he said, 'Certainly.' We came in and honestly, I haven't got over the acceptance that I got because I was thinking, 'This is terrible, what am I going to do?' But they accepted me and I had a great chat with my mother."

She added, "I know she's my mum and I said it to her. 'You know I'm your daughter' and she looked up at me and took my hand, we had a great chat. There was such a bond between the two of us, it was fantastic."

Macken began searching for her biological mother when she was just 19-years-old and had once even addressed herself as 'Ireland's oldest orphan'. 

According to Daily Mail, Macken told Liveline, "She was reading the newspaper and when she saw me, I said we were from Ireland and she said, 'I was born in Ireland'. She was thrilled and she never let go of my hand. I don't think I'll ever come down out of the cloud. I said to my children: all my life I love this lady, and I don't know who she is. But now I am so happy."