The President’s son: Holles Street Gynaecologist Professor Eamonn De Valera Jnr (left) arranged illegal adoptions
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RTÉ Investigates examines the story of Ireland’s illegal adoptions and some of the powerful individuals who facilitated trafficking.
Laura Fitzgerald writes:
RTÉ Investigates has uncovered new evidence of the involvement of some of Ireland’s most elite and powerful individuals in repeatedly arranging the illegal adoption of babies.
Among them was the son of a President of Ireland, Professor Eamonn de Valera Junior – a Consultant Gynaecologist at Holles St National Maternity Hospital.
[The Mail on Sunday first broke details of De Valera Jnr’s involvement in 2013]
De Valera Junior arranged antenatal appointments for a woman who was not pregnant in order to facilitate an illegal adoption. This was almost a decade after the Adoption Act 1952 came into force.
Brenda and Brian Lynch were two of four children illegally adopted into the one house over the space of five and a half years. The four adoptions were facilitated by Eamonn de Valera Jr. Their adoptions were concealed as fake pregnancies.
Brian’s adoptive mother went to St Brendan’s Nursing Home on Dublin’s Percy Place on her pretend due date, only to emerge with Brian, the child of an unmarried mother.
Fearing her children would face the stigma of adoption, their adoptive mother never told them the truth. Brenda Lynch:
“No one is above the law, who does this person think that he is? That he can just decide that oh yeah here is a baby, we will take her from her and give her to a good family, middle class. It is incredible.”
The Lynch family were not the only people for whom Prof Eamonn de Valera Junior facilitated illegal adoptions.
Mary Flanagan was born in March 1961 – she never knew she had been adopted. She was told a story as a child about her much-wanted miraculous arrival. In October 2019, Mary’s life was thrown into upheaval when she and her sister Anne were told by TUSLA they and their late brother Seamus were not the biological children of the people they’d always believed to be their parents.
“Prof de Valera was mum’s gynae and he was her gynae for years because of the fact she had so many problems and she went to see him privately, it must have cost her a fortune you know and like we weren’t a wealthy family by any means.”
RTÉ Investigates: Ireland’s Illegal Adoptions at 9.35pm on RTÉ One.
Previously: The Ireland That We Dreamed Of