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Stephen Kenny Reveals Details Of Remarkable Search For His Birth Mother

Stephen Kenny Reveals Details Of Remarkable Search For His Birth Mother
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Stephen Kenny gave a lengthy and wide-ranging interview to Marian Finucane on RTE Radio One this morning, and while football was discussed in a reasonable depth, the most interesting topic was Kenny's family history.

Kenny revealed on air that he was an adopted child and when his father died in 2014, he stepped up his search for his birth mother.

As he revealed to Finucane, he discovered who she was in the last couple of years.

My mother and father raised me brilliantly, in terms of having a very content family life. They adopted me at a very young age. I had pursued it, to try and find my family origins, and that accelerated when my Dad died.

It can be very slow to find out information. You get bits of information, and then I met a social worker, and worked with the people at Letterkenny hospital. They were very good and the social worker was brilliant.

They have the information on file, but they can only give you some of it. So it can be quite frustrating. You're sitting across from someone who is reading something about you that you're not entitled to know.

We had various meetings, but I got some news, and some of it was a shock to me. I wasn't one of those angry adopted kids who felt abandoned, I had squared with myself that it was a young woman who was 17,18,19 when she had me, in 1971. It wasn't unusual in that situation for someone to give up a child.

So I felt that it was a young girl in a difficult situation, and I'm a product of that. That's how I felt.

What I found out wasn't what I expected.

My mother had given me up in her thirties. I thought it would be a young girl who was pregnant, so that was a real shock. I couldn't believe it.

I couldn't believe it. I got some more information. In 1971 it was difficult for women, but she was a professional woman. She had a good career, so that was strange that you were part of a lifestyle decision. I don't know enough about it yet, but it raises questions: 'are you just...not wanted?'

 

You get little bits of information over months, but she subsequently got married and had two girls. It was only a year and a half ago, but we are tracing her.

I was driving into Oriel Park one morning and the social worker rang me to say, 'We've found your mother, we have her details. We have bad news - she died a couple of years ago.

It was a strange sensation.

Kenny said there was an "element of guilt" to searching for his birth mother, and didn't want to feel disloyal to his adoptive parents, but found both "fantastic" about it all. Kenny's relationship with both was very good: he revealed how he raced home from school every lunchtime to gobble down lunch and play table tennis against his mother. Those games have never been forgotten, and for her 70th birthday, instead of throwing a party, Kenny and his family rented a badminton court.

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You can listen to the interview in full here.

See Also: All The Details For Euro 2020 Draw & Ireland's Potentially Nightmare Group

 


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