Dublin woman, 64, who was illegally adopted believes revelations about St Patrick's Guild are 'the tip of the iceberg'

Theresa Hiney Tinggal discovered more than a decade and a half ago that the people she thought were her parents were not actually her birth parents.

A Dublin woman who discovered she was illegally adopted believes new revelations about St Patrick's Guild are just the beginning, and that those responsible should be prosecuted - writes dublinlive.ie

Theresa Hiney Tinggal, who is now living Bournemouth in south England, found out 16 years ago that the people she thought were her parents were not actually her birth parents.

She spoke to Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One following revelations from Tusla that at least 126 children adopted between 1946 and 1969 had their births wrongly registered.

"I think there should be an audit of all adoption agencies. I think there should be prosecutions where possible. I'd like to see justice for everybody.

"In all the years that I've spoken to adoptees and done all of this, I have never once heard any of them say they wanted retribution, they wanted redress, none of that. They just want justice. They just want an identity."

She also spoke of the moment she found out that she was adopted.

Theresa continued: “My uncle told me because I had a lot of issues with my mother. And I said I was going to go to Ireland to see her.

“And he said: 'Well, I don't think you're going to like what you hear.' And I said: 'Why?' And he said: 'Because she's not your mother.' I said: 'Of course she's my mother.'

“He said: 'I really don't know how they did it, Theresa, but I went home from England,' because he lived in the north of England, and he said 'you were a baby there and your father said to me - 'yeah, we got Theresa but not in the legal way'.'

"And after that, there was no questions asked. And people didn't ask questions in those days. I mean all of my cousins knew, and they just accepted me as Jimmy's child basically.”

She added: "I just could not believe it. And then I said: 'Well, what about my father?' And he said he's not my father either.

And I said: 'But my birth certificate says I'm Theresa Hiney.' He said: 'You're going to have to ask your mom about that'."

Theresa said her mother told her how the couple came to adopt her when she was just a baby after discovering they couldn’t have children.

She continued: “She told me that my father met a man in Dublin one day and he had a child with him. He said to my father:

"'Yeah, we got this little girl, 'but not in the legal way'."

And my father said: 'We'd really like to have some more children but we can't.' And he said: 'Ok, I'll pass your details on if you're OK about it.' And my father said: 'Yeah, fine.'

"They lived in Cabra at the time. My mother said a chauffeur-driven car came to our house in Cabra which was very usual at the time.

“And this lady got out and she approached my mother's house and she told my mother that she knew of a young girl that was going to have a baby and it was going to be born in June.

“My mother said yes, she'd be very interested – it didn't matter if it was a girl or boy.

"And then, just before my birth, they got a telegram from the doctor saying that I'd been born.

"That was on the 9th of June. And then two days later, my adoptive mother went to the house. My mother picked me up. I was two days old.”

And she said that she finally managed to track down her birth mother but it was too late.

She concluded: “Well thankfully, through DNA, I found my family last year in Tipperary. Unfortunately, my mother died eight years ago."

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