Captain Kevin J. Battle, Harbor Master, is leaving Portland this weekend to meet half- siblings in Wales; brothers and sisters he has never met. Until several weeks ago, he didn’t know they existed, either.
This upcoming week-long trip is the culmination of years of searching for his birth mother and to see if he has any half- siblings. All of his work has finally resulted in a get together next week for the Captain, two brothers and three sisters. His unwed birth mother died six (6) years ago – before the two ever were reunited. “I just wish I’d had a chance to tell her I turned out ok. That I didn’t end up in jail or something else,” said the Captain late this morning.
Captain Battle was born in a home for unwed mothers – actually in an orphanage in Roscrea, Ireland. When he was two years old, he was adopted by a couple originally from Ireland who moved to New York City; Kathleen & Dominick J. Battle. “They wanted to adopt an Irish baby,” Captain Battle said this morning at his office on the Portland Fish Pier. “They always told me I was adopted. It wasn’t a secret at all.” For years now, Captain Battle and his birth mother, Catherine Sheehy have been looking for each other – to no avail. He learned several weeks ago that she died six years ago. She was told that her son died in an automobile accident in New York City – his adopted home. She was told that by Sean Ross Abbey.
During this time, the authorities in Ireland also falsified his mother’s identification – making it impossible for him to track her down. Eventually, she did marry and had her own family referred to above.
Captain Battle is flying to London on Sunday. There his brother, Tony Finnegan, will meet him at the airport. Then they will proceed to Pembroke Dock, Wales. That’s where Captain Battle will meet his other brother and three sisters for the first time in his life.
“I’m really looking forward to this trip. I don’t know what else I will learn. Probably a lot more will surface about what’s been covered up,” said Captain Battle.