Claims News

Mother and Son Kept Apart for 51 years Sue Adoption Agency for Wrongful Separation Compensation

Posted on: August 14th, 2018

A mother who claims her son had been illegally adopted, has said she hoped the settlement in her wrongful separation compensation legal action would encourage others to act, and that the authorities would support and assist them.

Tressa Reeves, formerly Donnelly and her son Patrick Paddy Farrell, originally named Andre Donnelly, had taken the action against St Patrick’s Guild (Incorporated) adoption society which was run by the Sisters of Charity Nuns, and the State followin of her long search for him following his adoption in 1961.

The defendants in the compensation action denied the claims that Ms Reeves made.

On the what was the fourth day of the hearing, following lengthy talks between the side, Eanna Mulloy SC, instructed by Neil Cosgrave solicitor, for the mother and son told the court late this evening 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 reentered.

The terms of the settlement are were not made public.

Both Farrell (aged 57) and Reeves (aged 79) said his ‘adoption’ was illegal and claimed his placement with the Farrells was done without the legal safeguards provided under the adoption laws. Additionally they claimed false birth and baptism certs were produced for baby Andre.

During the case it was alleged that false misrepresentations made in relation to Patrick’s location and claims were made that St Patrick’s engaged in a conspiracy, deceit and did not provide them with information about each other in a timely manner.

Additionally it was claimed that the State did not recognise the mother and son’s rights. The claims were all denied.

Ms Reeves gave birth to her son at a clinic in Dublin on 13 March 1961 and just days later he was taken and placed with a family in Co Carlow and given the name Patrick Farrell. The Court was told that Ms Reeves spent decades looking for him and they were reunited in 2013 – Mr Farrell only discovered in 2012 that he had been illegally adopted.

Speaking outside the Four Courts following the completion of the legal action, Ms Reeves said that when her search began there had not ‘even been a landing on the moon’ and that since then there had been many advances in technology that made the task easier.

However, Ms Reeves stated that said things had not improved for the men and women affected by illegal adoption, some of whom she said, did not even know their own identity.


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