It took over four decades, but Treacy-Kay Curran finally met with the brother she never knew she had at the Calgary International Airport on Friday night.
“Has anyone seen my big brother Sean… Welcome to Canada,” her handmade sign read.
Curran’s older brother, Sean Canny, had been travelling for nearly 24 hours from Galway, Ireland to Alberta when he emerged through the arrival doors.
“Now we’re family,” Canny said as he embraced his sister. “Little sister I’ve missed for 44 years.”
Forty-four years and nine months to be exact.
Curran was born in Ireland and was adopted when she was six weeks old. She lived with her adoptive family in Dublin until she was 10, then moved to central Alberta.
She always knew she was adopted but never knew she had any siblings.
“When I was 25, I decided to look into my birth mother. At that time, there wasn’t emailing or anything so it was just letters back and forth,” Curran said.
Curran went about her life, regularly visiting her adoptive brothers and cousins in Ireland, but never suspecting her biological brother was there all along.
Meanwhile, Canny, who is married and has three sons, decided recently to search for his birth mother as well. Through that process, the adoption agency revealed to him that he had a sister.
“When they called him, they said, ‘Good news and bad news. Bad news is your mother doesn’t want to meet you. Good news is you have a baby sister,’” Curran recalled.
On March 14, an Irish adoption agency called Curran after finding her information online. The agent asked if she was interested in communicating with Canny, to which she said yes.
After emailing back and forth, Curran, Canny and Canny’s wife had their first video chat on April 6.
“Of course it was minus stupid here so I was wearing a toque and a coat and everything,” Curran laughed. “I was just in my car and we chatted for about 45 minutes. Then, when I came home, we chatted again.
“We’ve noticed with our chatting we have a few similarities. But I have an Irish temper, a short temper, and he doesn’t.”
Curran said in the short time they’ve been communicating, they’ve already developed a strong bond. The siblings knew they wanted to meet, but work commitments were going to stall their reunion until after the summer.
Canny is staying in Alberta for a week, working to catch up on forty-four years’ worth of memories. Plans are also in the works for a trip to Ireland, so Curran can meet her sister-in-law and three nephews.
“We’re just happy to have found each other and we just want to go ahead and join our families together,” she said.