SIsters Barbara and Coral are reunited in Wexford after 34 years apart

By Amy Lewis

Published 17/09/2016 | 00:00

REUNITED: Sisters Barbara Mahon and Carol Appo at Sean McBride Square in Wexford.
REUNITED: Sisters Barbara Mahon and Carol Appo at Sean McBride Square in Wexford.

Life often sends us down different paths but despite 34 years of waiting and a 15,405 k.m. distance, Barbara Mahon and Coral Appo proved that nothing can break a sisterly bond.

After over three decades of searching for one another, a notice in an Australian newspaper brought the two English natives together once more. What resulted was an emotional reunion in Barbara's Wexford town home last week, with plenty of tears, hugs and of course, a much-needed catch-up.

'I was speechless,' said Barbara, who has lived in Wexford for over 30 years. 'I didn't know what to say. We had both been yearning to see each other for years but things went wrong. I was divorced and moved on and Coral was divorced and moved on.'

'I never thought I would find her but all of a sudden, here she is.'

In the 1980s, Barbara relocated from England to Wexford, while her sister Coral went to Australia to find a new life. The pair lost contact and with no mobile phones or social media to track one another down, they began to lose hope of ever being reunited. In a last attempt to bring the pair back together, Barbara's daughter Abbie placed a notice in an Australian newspaper pleading with Coral or anyone who knew her to get in touch.

'I kind of gave up at Christmas time last year but then later I got an email from Coral's daughter,' explained Abbie. 'Auntie Coral then decided to come over.'

Coral made a 32-hour journey from Cairns on her own to be reunited with her sister. She said that she had mixed emotions on arrival on Ireland.

'I was nervous, happy and excited. I had never been to Ireland before,' she said. 'As soon as I saw Barbara, we ran to each other. I had finally found my little sister.'

Coral was also thrilled to meet her new family members ¬ Barbara's children and grandchildren.

'They're wonderful. They have accepted me as part of the family. I couldn't wish for anything better,' she said.

Coral will remain in Ireland for just over three weeks, during which she will take in the local sights and have a much-needed catch-up with her sister.

'My daughter is taking us to a few different places such as the Wicklow Mountains and Loftus Hall' said Barbara. 'I feel so happy having her here. There are no words that can describe it.'

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