It’s been 30 years since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster – the fallout of which saw many children being abandoned in orphanages all over Belarus. One of those children brought up particular memories for RTE TV presenter Colm Flynn. His family adopted one of the abandoned children, a little boy with special needs.
The Flynn family heard about an initiative at mass where children from orphanages were to brought over to say with families in Ireland. Colm’s family that took in Banni, a six year old boy who was unable to walk, talk or feed himself. Originally he was only to stay for a short time, but soon it extended into longer until the Flynn family decided to adopt him for good. While initially it looked like everything was going well, authorities in Belarus insisted that Banni return to the orphanage. Colm’s family were heartbroken and Colm returned to Belarus all these years later to try and find Banni again and to get some answers about what happened. Colm begins by talking about what it was like when he first met Banni.
Finding Banni which is part of Reality Bites and airs on Wednesday 30th November at 9.30pm.