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'I can't hug my daughters' - A Northern Ireland dad tries to explain why he can't 'do the touchy-feely stuff'

Published 08/12/2015

Alex with his daughter Lilah-Liberty
Alex with his daughter Lilah-Liberty
Alex Kane as a schoolboy
Happy times: Alex Kane with his father

One of Northern Ireland's political commentators has spoken of how he can't bring himself to hug his daughters.

Alex Kane (60) lives in east Belfast with his partner Kerri and their two daughters, Megan and Lilah-Liberty.

Today on the BBC Nolan Show he said: "There are times I look at my 17-year-old and say Megan, darling, don't worry about it, it's just part of growing up. And I haven't done that. I don't know why."

Mr Kane said it was "inexplicable", but he thinks it goes back to his childhood adoption.

"For all my public commentary, my writing and my sounding like a guy who's fully in control of his emotions - I'm not.

"There are moments every day I have this, it's a form of mild depression, but it's to do with my confidence, it goes to the very root of who I am.

"I still have this fear, I still sometimes wake in the middle of the night shaking in fear that someone's going to come and take me away again...

"I should be able to just put my arm around Megan, any of the kids, but I still find that difficult."

He added: "I don't think it's typical of dads or mums, I think it's just me. I'm not touchy-feely."

"On a one-to-one basis I am still enormously shy. I can write about it, but actually that one-to-one I still find hugely difficult.

"My girls know I absolutely adore them. It's just I don't do the touchy-feely stuff."

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