81-year-old Irish woman meets 103-year-old mother after 60-year search
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81-year-old Irish woman meets 103-year-old mother after 60-year search

AN 81-YEAR-OLD Irish woman enjoyed an emotional first meeting with her birth mother following a 60-year search.

Eileen Macken feared she would never meet her long lost mother.

Raised in a Bethany Home orphanage, she first began searching for her birth mum at the age of just 19 but struggled to make much in the way of progress.

Last year she contacted RTÉ's Liveline appealing for help in trying to track her down.

With the help of a genealogist she was able to track down her mother, Elizabeth, and found she was still alive and living in Scotland at the age of 103.

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Last month Eileen decided to “take the bull by the horns” and travelled to Scotland with her husband, daughter and son-in-law to meet Elizabeth.

It was an emotional and truly unforgettable encounter.

"I went over to see her, and she is the most beautiful lady," Eileen told RTÉ.

Upon arrival at her mother’s home, Eileen enjoyed another surprise when, after knocking on Elizabeth’s door, she was met by a man who she soon realised was her half-brother.

"I told him I was from Ireland and that I had found my mum here and could we come in to see her, and he said 'certainly'," she told the broadcaster.

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Eileen and Elizabeth immediately hit it off.

"She was reading the newspaper and when she saw me, I said we were from Ireland and she said, 'I was born in Ireland'," Eileen said.

"She was thrilled, and she never let go of my hand."

Elizabeth will celebrate her 104th birthday this weekend.

Eileen, meanwhile, remains on Cloud Nine after finally reconnecting with her mother in the kind of happy reunion most orphans can only dream of.

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"I don't think I'll ever come down out of the cloud,” she reflected.