Woman searches for long-lost
by Linda McGrory
A WOMAN has appealed for help in tracing a long-lost
brother who she believes was given up for adoption
some decades ago.
Bernie Leacock (54), who has strong links with
Donegal north east, has been told her half-sibling
was about two years old when he was adopted.
He may now be aged in his 60s or 70s.
She believes he previously tried to find out about
his biological background but was unsuccessful in
Bernie only found out about his existence when she
was 37 years old.
A Donegal relative shared some details after their
mother died in her adopted Northern Ireland at the
age of 74 in 1997.
Bernie, a North-based educational support worker,
began searching for him soon afterwards.
However, she became sidelined with grief when one of
her two sons became ill with leukaemia and died,
aged 20, in 2002. She is now redoubling her efforts
to find her lost relative.
Bernie Leacock, left, who is
searching for her long-lost half-sibling and her
also pictured as a young child.
She has been given his
name but despite this has encountered "brick walls"
in her search so far.
She is mindful of his privacy and only reveals that
his first name begins with the letter 'L'.
She has also withheld Donegal family names, her own
birth surname and specific geographical locations
out of respect for the privacy of other relatives.
She knows little about the circumstances surrounding
the adoption but surmises that her brother might
well be a pensioner by now.
She understands he may also have contact with a town
in Donegal north east not far from the isolated
rural area where their mother was born.
"My mother had a son who was adopted when he was, I
believe, two years old. I understand that when he
was grown he sought information about her but was
unsuccessful," she said. She hopes that her brother
might see some family resemblances in the
photographs she has supplied of herself and get in
If you have any information you think might help
Bernie, please contact her by email at