Finding Tipperary Mary is the astonishing real story of a daughter’s search for her own past – and the desperate mother who gave her up.nnnnPhyllis Whitsell’s mother Bridget Mary Larkin was born in Templemore, Co.Tipperary in 1928. By the time she was sixteen she had lost both her parents and forced to grow up quickly, she left school early to look after all the housework and her younger sister Philomena. Bridget was subsequently sexually abused by an older brother and gave birth to a baby boy. She was forced to spend three years in a mother and baby unit run by nuns where she again experienced extreme cruelty and hardship. Desperate to rebuild her life and erase the memory of what had happened Bridget moved to Coventry at the age of 25 leaving her son behind. Alcohol became her refuge and her life began to spiral evermore downward.nnnnHer daughter Phyllis writes;nnnn‘I lit the candle and prayed for my birth mother, asking God to take care of her. It was as if I had made some kind of connection with her. Even at such a young age, I found it difficult to understand, but I always feared that she was in danger and needed my prayers. It was the only thing at the time that I could do for her. I feared that she might be coming to some harm and that she was not happy, but I was helpless and had nobody to talk to about my feelings. The only thing at that time was to pray that her guardian angel would take care of her and keep her from harm.’nnnnPhyllis Whitsell began the search for her birth mother as a young woman – and although it was many years before she finally met her, their lives had crossed on the journey without their knowledge. When they both eventually sat down together – the circumstances were extraordinary, moving and ultimately life-changing.nnnnFinding Tipperary Mary is a daughter’s personal account of the remarkable relationship that grew from abandonment into love, understanding and selfless care.