First a reunion with his 'dead' father. Now he's found his lost brother

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The Independent Online

A man reunited with the father he thought had died has now discovered he also has a brother that he did not know existed.

This month John Renehan told how he spotted his father on a television programme in April this year – five years after he thought he had cremated him. Now it has been reported that Mr Renehan, of Didsbury, Manchester, has been contacted by an older brother he was not aware he had.

Mr Renehan's father, John Delaney, went missing from his home in Oldham in 2000. Three years later a badly decomposed corpse, with clothes similar to those in which Mr Delaney was last seen, was found in bushes at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Police did not carry out DNA tests, but the corpse was identified by a coroner as that of Mr Delaney. His son organised a cremation, but was stunned five years later when he saw his father on a BBC programme about missing people.

The story was reported in the Manchester Evening News and, upon reading it, a 46-year-old man who had been put up for adoption at birth recognised John Delaney as the name of his own father. He contacted the Catholic Children's Rescue Society in Manchester, an adoption agency, which then wrote to Mr Renehan.

After checking birth certificate details it was confirmed that they had the same mother and father and a day later they met for the first time. Mr Renehan, 42, said: "They offered me a DNA test but the moment I saw him I knew he was my brother. It has been completely overwhelming. It feels like the world's going very, very fast. We spent about six hours talking that first day.

"He is lucky to have wonderful adoptive parents of whom he speaks in the highest regard but he had tried for years to make contact with his real family without success. He said that when he picked up the paper everything clicked.

"When we met, everything fell into place. He's the spitting image of my younger sister, Ann Marie, who died five years ago. We've had very different upbringings but you can feel a brotherly bond. I can even see that we have some of the same mannerisms. I've already met him and his wife twice more and they are lovely, warm people."

Now Mr Renehan says he plans to introduce his brother to their 71-year-old father, whom he has been visiting daily, but says it will be a "big step" for everyone involved. "In 2003 I lost my little sister and I thought I had lost my father too," he said. "Now I can't help but wonder if it's fate that I've found dad and gained a brother at the same time.

"We didn't have a close family upbringing and there were always pieces missing but this feels like the finishing piece of the jigsaw."

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