Marriage story

“In 1973, I became pregnant at the age of 20, with a man my own age who I had met in Dublin. At that age, in those times, you were very innocent. After three months had gone by, I was able to visit home for the weekend. My father met me at the station and we drove home. Mother had dinner ready. After dinner, she called me into the bedroom and told me that she knew I was pregnant. I was so scared. I didn’t answer her, I just looked at her. She said my father had noticed it as soon as you got off the train. I could not lie. The next few days, behind the scenes, the wheels were put into motion. I was sent to the Good Shepherd, a mother and baby home in Dunboyne. I stayed there until my baby was born in Holles Street on May 3rd, 1974. Then I returned back to the home. A few days later, I rang my mother and told her the baby was born. I asked her if my baby and I could go down for a few days. She said, I could come, but said not to bring the baby. So, the nuns fostered out my baby for a week. I went down home with one small photograph of my baby. I was only there a day and I used to have the photo under my pillow. My mother took it from me, tore it up, and threw it into the fire. The next day, I came back to Dublin. Gus and I rented out a one-bedroomed flat in Santry. We got our baby back from the foster home. During my pregnancy, my brother and father had visited Gus at his work. They asked him what his intentions were and if he was going to marry me. They put him under a bit of pressure. Gus had told them that we will get married and he will look after me and the baby. We were married in Dunboyne church on 28th June 1974, with no family there and only two witnesses from the parish. We are 45 years married now and living happily together in Dublin. We went on to have another son and now have a beautiful grandchild. I said to my mother, many years later, that the family had done me a favor by putting pressure on Gus to marry me, as I ended up with a really good man.”