herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

I was dumped and branded all sorts, says single-mum Mary

X FACTOR hopeful Mary Byrne has been inundated with messages of support after revealing she was branded a "whore" after her daughter's dad left her while she was pregnant.

The Ballyfermot sensation (50) has spoken out for the first time about the torment she suffered in the past, claiming that she was taunted by bullies after becoming a single mum to daughter Deborah (22).

Her former partner of two years, who has no contact with Mary or his daughter, walked out on her when she was 27 after she broke the news that she was expecting his child.

Dubliners have rallied to support her X Factor campaign, but Ireland was a very different place during the 1980s, she said.

"I was completely alone, isolated and scared," she said. "I was the subject of so much ridicule because, at that time, it was so frowned upon to have a child out of wedlock in a Catholic country. I was left high and dry, living alone, and at my wits' end.

"I'd get so many nasty comments made at me in the street. Bullies started shouting at me and called me a whore, I had no money and no prospects, no future."

The Dublin crooner, who has now been installed as one of the hot favourites to win the contest, has said that she hopes her ex doesn't suddenly decide to contact her now that she's in the limelight.

Although he sporadically visited her daughter Deborah when she was younger, he hasn't seen her since she was four years old.

"He better not dare crawl out of the woodwork now - he's not welcome back in my life," she told a UK mag.

"He left me with nothing. Debbie and I had to do everything ourselves.

"We went through so much pain because of him and I know Debbie feels the same. He must never darken my doorstep again."

However, fans of the bubbly Tesco worker have rushed to show their support for her after opening up about her troubled past, commending her for her bravery.

Single Mary was praised for having the performance of the night after wowing the judges and the public alike with her rendition of the James Brown classic This Is A Man's World.

She received a standing ovation from the audience, and burst into tears with the reaction saying she was so "humbled" that people enjoyed her performance.

mfinn@herald.ie

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