Úna-Minh Kavanagh“I have no time for negativity because I feel that it’s a waste of energy.”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Some people speak with a smile in their voice and Úna-Minh Kavanagh is surely one of them. The microphone picks it up; it’s unmistakable. The airwaves sang with positivity today as she told Ray D’Arcy: “I have no time for negativity because I feel that it’s a waste of energy.” Hardly surprising after a childhood in Kerry, that most Instagrammable …

Evanne Ní Chuilinn on Adoption“Some people thought it was OK to lie to adopted people because, you know, adopted people didn’t have any power.”

As heard on Today with Miriam

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Sports journalist and documentary maker Evanne Ní Chuilinn told Miriam O’Callaghan this morning about adoption and the unique way her adoptive dad reached out to her birth mother when she was growing up. Evanne was adopted at a time when there was little or no contact between adoptive parents and birth parents, let alone between birth parents and children.  But her …

Adopting a child from the streets of Texas‘He had mould in his nappy, he had mould in his arm pits, he was very, very red…  We found out later just more of the things that were wrong.’

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Debs Walker got more than she bargained for when a day volunteering with the homeless led to her arriving home with a new baby!  She had just moved to Texas with her American husband and was integrating into the local community through taking on some charity work. “We had friends who had a homeless charity so we were standing on …

Documentary on OneLooking for Fairytale Castles

As heard on Documentary On One

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One the 11th of April 1972, a baby girl was born. Her name was Martina. 8 years later, that girl – now called Jenny – found out she had been adopted. Jenny Tyrrell is just one of 13,000 babies who were adopted in Ireland in the 1970s, the alternative (an unmarried mother raising a child) being socially unacceptable. In the documentary, Looking for Fairytale Castle, Jenny and her birth …

The Blackberry Bush Baby“They found me tucked in quite a deep blackberry bush with my hands tied together in front of me and just a little dress on.”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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One of the big news stories of the day in Britain in 1937 was the shocking tale of the Blackberry Bush Baby. A baby was found near Worthing in the south of England, seemingly abandoned in a bush, with her hands tied. That baby was Anthea Ring and she spoke to Ray D’Arcy on Wednesday afternoon. She began by telling …

My Name is Joan‘He said, ‘You know, we had to pay a lot of money to get you from Ireland.’

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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At the age of 15, Susan Drew discovered she had been born with a different name, in a different country and that her parents were not her biological parents. Susan was born in Ireland as Joan Fagan in 1949 to an unmarried mother in a mother-and-baby home. She was adopted and raised in America, unaware of her background. She features in a new documentary, My Name is Joan. She joined Ray on The Ray …

Don Stiffe‘I wanted to know what my name was. I wanted to know my identity’

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Musician Don Stiffe has opened his heart to the public about his search for his birth mother.  He says the reaction has been overwhelming.  People have come to him for advice and shared their own personal stories in return.  He joined Kathryn Thomas on The Ray D’Arcy Show to talk about how it all came about. “I was actually in …

Justine McCarthy‘Please forgive me if you are not the person who I think you are. But I think your sister is my mother.’

As heard on The Marian Finucane Show

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Notwithstanding the sheer volume of newspaper articles, television documentaries, investigative reporting and even big-screen movie adaptations documenting incidents where women were shamed and mistreated in Ireland, having committed the cardinal sin of getting pregnant outside of wedlock, it’s easy to see these episodes as long-lost relics of the past. But each and every one of those episodes has left its …