A man repeatedly raped by a nun at a Catholic home as a boy wept as he met the daughter he fathered for the first time.
Edward Hayes, 76, was abused for three years from the age of just 12 at the former John Reynolds Home in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, in the 1950s.
The “obsessed” nun eventually fell pregnant and Edward believed she had been sent back to Ireland in disgrace. Now a grandfather living in Carlisle, Edward never knew what became of his child – until now.
After bravely sharing his story in the media last month, relatives recognised the name of his abuser Sister Mary Conleth, whose real name he said was Bessie Veronica Lawler.
In fact, she was sent down to Guildford, London, to give birth to her child, a daughter, and returned to Lytham, perhaps in the hope of tracking Edward down again.
When she couldn’t find him, Sister Conleth returned to Ireland and went on to marry and have four more children before she died in 2002.
Those children had already began researching their mother’s family tree and discovered her first daughter.
But no one had any idea who her father was until reading Edward’s story in the media.
The family are struggling to cope with the revelation their mother was a rapist and so Edward’s daughter, now aged 62, is not being named.
They met in London for the first time last Sunday.
The Express reports how Edward’s first words were: “Oh gosh [name redacted], my daughter, at last.”
His daughter said: “Dad, Dad,Dad.”
The pair then burst into tears and embraced, sobbing for several minutes and unable to speak.
Looking at her father for the first time, Edward’s daughter believed she has his blue eyes, nose and jawline.
Edward had appealed to the Vatican for help tracking down his daughter, saying that he would be able to “die happy” if he simply knew she had lived a good life.