Sunderland woman hoping to end 35-year search for Irish father

Sunderland woman hoping to end 35-year search for Irish father

A SUNDERLAND mother-of-two is hoping that her 35-year search for the father whom she last saw when she was just six months old will lead to a long-awaited reunion.

Sharon Brogan Anabraba, 50, who now lives in London, is eager to find a man named Peter Flanagan, who she strongly believes has Irish roots.

As a result of years spent in care in the northeast of England between the ages of five to 17, Sharon completely lost touch with her father.

But she is optimistic that a renewed appeal will help to locate the man — who could have links to Drogheda, Cork or Donegal — and give her a sense of identity.

“I’ve been searching for 35 years to find my father, I’ve been to Ireland to find out what I can but I had no luck,” she told The Irish Post. “I don’t know much about him, but I do have the details that my mum shared with me before she died.”

Sharon’s mother, Sylvia Brogan (née Johnson), died last year at the age of 84.

Before she was put into care Sharon lived with her mother at 5 Marley Crescent, Southwick in Sunderland.

“She told me that he was slightly younger than her, so maybe he’s early 80s,” she said. “He had black hair and was tall, I know that’s quite a common characteristic but it’s what I know.”

Whilst she’s eager to find her father, start learning about her Irish heritage and meet relatives she never knew about, Sharon is treading carefully in her appeal.

She said: “He may have a family now, who knows, I don’t want to disrupt that. But it would be good to finally meet him and put a face to the name. I have kids of my own so it would be great to find my father.”

Peter worked for Murphy’s construction company during the 1960s fixing pipes in Middlesbrough and Sunderland alongside his brother Felix and a friend called Eddy McTiernan.

During this time, Peter lived in Middlesbrough near a park close to the town centre and frequented a pub called The Queen’s Head.

“I know it’s a long shot but I’ve been searching for so long, maybe this time it’ll work.”