Editor’s comment: Can you help Damian find out the truth?


- Credit: Archant

Islington Gazette front page from July 1973.

We have chosen not to name Damian Deen’s mother, although she is pictured.

The circumstances of what happened to tear her family apart in 1973 cannot be known only to her, and we have no wish to cause her any further trouble.

But Damian has been unable to get answers, and just as she is entitled to reject a relationship with him now, he is entitled to know about his past. After all, it certainly isn’t his fault that he was taken from her as a toddler.

For his mother, it must have felt like that Gazette front page was for nothing: she didn’t hear anything from Damian’s father and never found her baby, and was left to start a new life.

How curious, then, that 22 years later it should have been precisely that front page that led Damian back to her – or that, 22 years later again, Damian is once more appealing for information in this same paper.

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I can only express my profound hope that trusting the Gazette with his story – just as his mother did 44 years ago – will this time yield some closure.

• Damian isn’t the only person delving into our archives this week. We couldn’t resist a topical history feature for election day: a look back at the first time Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Islington North’s MP, back in 1983.

Just as Damian’s mother would never have expected her son to be seeking his own answers through the Gazette in 2017, I suspect Mr Corbyn never expected back in the mid-1980s that he would one day be contesting an election not just for the area north of St Paul’s Road, but for the whole country.

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Whatever you think of that, please, please get to a polling station today and make the best of our flawed democratic system. Just like those who elected Mr Corbyn in 1983, we will today make decisions whose full impact may not be immediately apparent.

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