'I'm at my wit's end...I feel so alone. I can find nobody belonging to me,' says woman seeking birth cert

An emotional interview with a woman who grew up in a Longford convent and cannot track down her own birth certificate has touched people around the country.

Ann, speaking to Joe Duffy's Liveline today, told of her unsuccessful efforts to secure a birth certificate and how it means she cannot access some basic services.

Ann, now 66, grew up in the Mercy Convent in Newtown-Forbes in Longford. She was there from infancy until she was 17 years old. She then spent two years in another convent in Dublin's Baggott Street.

No relative ever visited her as she grew up, and she found it impossible to learn what her family background was.

"I was cleaning the orphanage one day and I asked could I see my mother. The nun said 'he most you can do is pray for her'," she said.

"I'm at my wit's end...I feel so alone. I can find nobody (belonging to me)," she added, in tears.

"The other girls found their parents and their brothers and sisters - people belonging to them - and I found nobody."

She said she couldn't get a public service card to access free travel and other public services without a birth cert.

She said when she had visited the convent as an adult, she was told there was no record of her there, and was told the same in the Dublin convent.

Ann was given her baptismal cert, which shows she was born on September 2, 1950, but she has no birth cert for that date.

Ann, who was married and is now separated, and is a mother to two girls and a boy, uses her baptismal certificate when documents are required.

However, she said her baptismal cert is not accepted to secure a public service card.

"If I could just get the birth cert... that's all I want," she said.

Ann said she is at her wit's end. Picture posed by model


KEYWORDS: RTE, Joe Duffy, orphanges

 

By Jill O'Sullivan

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