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DNA testing Gardai meet with mum whose baby was taken from her 54 years ago

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Kathleen Byrne at her home in Waterford.

Kathleen Byrne at her home in Waterford.

Kathleen Byrne at her home in Waterford.

Gardai have met with a Waterford mother whose baby was taken away from her in hospital 54 years ago, never to return.

Kathleen Byrne was told her second child Patrick died after he was taken from her in Airmount Hospital in Waterford in January 1967.

But she said a nun at the hospital told her to never mention him again and move on, despite Kathleen pleading for his remains to be returned.

Decades later she was told he died from a heart problem at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin, and his organs were removed without any permission before he was a buried in a mass grave in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin without anyone telling Kathleen.

Kathleen told the Sunday World that until her son's remains are returned to her she does not know whether to believe he even died at all.

Gardai in Waterford are now looking into the case and met with Kathleen on Wednesday.

She was accompanied by local Sinn Fein councillor John Hearne, who has been assisting her in seeking answers in the case.

"I met up with the garda and he took my hospital files from me and I told him my story," said Kathleen.

"He's going to take a full statement from me over the next few days."

She said she hopes this will lead to her son's remains being exhumed and returned to her if they are in Glasnevin as claimed.

"All I want is my child's remains back and I'll know then that he was there and everything like that.

"At the moment I don't know anything. You don't know what to believe.

"He took files and photocopies of the hospital files and everything. I'll make a statement and after that I'll know more."

Kathleen said she is glad the case is finally being taken seriously.

"I got nowhere for years," she said. She said the only way she will gain closure is if the remains are dug up and DNA testing is done to confirm it is Patrick.

"At least I'd get him back and there'd be closure on it then. If they're doing it for Tuam they can do it for me."

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