Dearbhla Clarke's story spoke of a father's love

Déarbhla Clarke spoke for the first time about being the daughter of a Catholic priest

ALL children deserve the love of both a mother and father. And Déarbhla Clarke is no different.

The Co Louth woman said she should be a "bitter, horrible, twisted person", but instead with the guidance of her Catholic priest father, she has become a well adjusted and happy individual.

I met Ms Clarke last week in her home-town of Drogheda and from the moment we shook hands, I knew she was a strong, courageous woman.

In an emotional interview, she recalled the happy times, she described the difficult times and she also spoke about her immense grief at his recent passing.

Ms Clarke wanted to highlight her remarkable story of growing up as the daughter of a priest as she strongly believes that one day the archaic rules of the Catholic Church will change.

There were tears, there were smiles, but above all there was Ms Clarke's desire to show she had enjoyed a normal bond with her Catholic cleric father.

She knew no different - she had a father that loved her - and the fact that he was a priest made no difference at all.

Two things were clear throughout the interview - her love for her father and his love for her.

It was like talking to anyone else about their dad as she recalled the special father/daughter relationship they enjoyed as well as the immense loss she now feels that her father has gone.

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