Mother and illegally adopted son settle court action against agency – Ireland

A man who was illegally adopted, and his birth mother, have settled their High Court action against a Catholic adoption agency and the State.

Tressa Reeves, nee Donnelly, and her son Patrick ‘Paddy’ Farrell, aka Andre Donnelly, had sued the State and St Patrick’s Guild (Incorporated) adoption society which was run by the Sisters of Charity Nuns, arising out of her long search for him following his illegal adoption in 1961.

On what was the fourth day of the hearing, following lengthy talks between the side, Eanna Mulloy SC for the mother and son, told the court yesterday that the parties had reached “a comprehensive agreement”.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald said he was “really delighted” the case had been resolved and agreed to strike out the proceedings, with liberty to apply to have the action re-entered.

The terms of the settlement are confidential.

Ms Reeves gave birth to Mr Farrell at a clinic in Dublin on March 13, 1961.

Days later he was placed with a family at Liscolman, Tullow, Co Carlow, and given the name Patrick Farrell by the now-deceased couple Jim and Maeve Farrell.

Ms Reeves spent decades looking for her son and they were reunited in 2013. Mr Farrell did not know he was illegally adopted until late in 2012, some months after Maeve Farrell’s death.


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