“I Always Wanted To Belong”

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Paul Graham, 80, (right and above) met his brother Rodney Whittaker, 75, for the first time on Saturday

Via BBC:

A survivor of an Irish mother and baby home has said he is “at peace with the world” after meeting his elderly brother for the first time.

Paul Graham, 80, travelled to London from Australia to meet his half brother Rodney Whittaker, 75, on Saturday.

He said meeting his first blood relative was almost indescribable.

Mr Graham spent his early years at the Bethany Home in Dublin, which was a place for unmarried Protestant mothers and their children.

“I held his hand for nearly half an hour. It was like holding the hand of the one you love,” he told BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday News.

“He turned around and smiled at me, it broke my heart.

“We just connected and that was just wonderful. I always wanted to belong.”

Mr Graham was adopted by a wealthy family in Belfast in 1944, but ran away from his home at the age of 14 to join the Royal Marines. He later emigrated to Australia with his young family.

He only recently realised he had a brother after discovering Mr Whittaker’s signature on his mother’s death certificate.

He said the meeting allowed him to forgive his mother, from Castlederg in County Tyrone, for leaving him as an infant in Bethany Home, which closed in the 1960s.

Bethany Home survivor meets elderly brother for the first time (BBC)

Pics: Paul Graham

Thanks Derek Linster

previously: Bethany Home on broadsheet

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2 thoughts on ““I Always Wanted To Belong”

  1. Praetorian

    I listened to his story last Monday on Liveline…got a little bit teary listening to him…a very tough life and dreadful treatment by the Irish government.
    Im delighted he got to meet his brother.

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