PORTLAND PRESS HERALD DARKROOM
Stolen child

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    Stolen child - Staff photo by Brianna Soukup | of | Share this photo

    Kevin Battle poses for a portrait near Spring Point Ledge Light. Battle, who is the Portland harbormaster, took a genetic test in January and found a first cousin through the site. Battle always knew he was born at the Sean Ross Abbey in Ireland, but he found out from his cousin that he was one of the babies forcibly taken from mothers by the church and sent out for adoption.

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    Stolen child - Adoption Rights Alliance webpage/courtesy of Brian Lockier | of | Share this photo

    The nursery at the Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Ireland, circa 1960. The convent operated a home for unwed mothers from 1930 to 1970. The children were cared for by their mothers until they were forcibly put up for adoptions.

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    Stolen child - Adoption Rights Alliance webpage/courtesy of Brian Lockier | of | Share this photo

    Nuns supervise children during playtime at the nursery at the Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Ireland,

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    Stolen child - Courtesy of Kevin Battle | of | Share this photo

    The only known photograph of Catherine Sheehy, right, holding her son, whom she named William. Sheehy was an unwed mother who gave birth to the boy in Sean Ross Abbey, a notorious mother and baby home in Ireland run by the Catholic Church. She ran away with him when he was an infant, but the nuns tracked her down to her family home where Sheehy is seen here with her sister Margate, and took William from her. Shortly after, the church sold him for $1,000 to a New York couple, who renamed him Kevin Battle.

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    Stolen child - | of | Share this photo

    This is a photograph that Kevin Battle took of his birth mother, Catherine Sheehy Finnegan, from a video that his half-siblings played for him during a recent trip to meet his long-lost family in Wales.

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    Stolen child - | of | Share this photo

    Kevin Battle, middle, enjoys a pint with his half brothers, Tony, left, and Bernie Finnegan, at a pub in Wales 2 weeks ago. Taken from his unwed mother as a baby by the Catholic Church of Ireland and sold to a New York family, Battle did not know his birth family until he took a DNA test this year. Here, he is sitting in the spot where his birth mother used to sit; she died in 2009.

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    Stolen child - Courtesy of Kevin Battle | of | Share this photo

    The gravestone of Catherine Finnegan, birth mother of Kevin Battle, a retired South Portland police officer, state lawmaker and harbor master. Despite his efforts to find her, Finnegan died in 2009, eight years before Battle learned her identity and traveled to Wales to meet his half-siblings. Note the yellow flowers on the stone – one for each of her children, including Kevin, who she had not seen in 57 years.

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