A man who was adopted and his birth mother have settled their High Court action against a Catholic adoption agency and the State.

Tressa Reeves (nee Donnelly) and her son Patrick Farrell aka Andre Donnelly had sued St Patrick's Guild (Incorporated) adoption society, which was run by the Sisters of Charity Nuns, and the State arising out of her long search for him following his illegal adoption in 1961.

The defendants denied the claims.

On what was the fourth day of the hearing, following lengthy talks between the sides, Eanna Mulloy for the mother and son told the court that the parties had reached "a comprehensive agreement".

Mr Justice Denis McDonald said he was "really delighted" the case had been resolved and agreed to strike out the proceedings, with liberty to apply to have the action reentered.

The terms of the settlement are confidential.

Mrs Reeves gave birth to Mr Farrell at a clinic in Dublin on 13 March 1961.

Days later he was placed with a family at Liscolman, Tullow, Co Carlow and given the name Patrick Farrell by the now deceased couple Jim and Maeve Farrell.

Mrs Reeves spent decades looking for him and they were reunited in 2013. Mr Farrell did not know he was adopted until late in 2012, some months after Mrs Farrell's death.

Mrs Reeves, who is now living in Cornwall in England, claimed she was given the "brush off" by St Patrick's Guild and others in authority when she sought to make contact with him.

The court heard Mrs Reeves, who came from a Catholic English family with Irish connections, was sent to Ireland after she became pregnant in 1960.

She gave birth to her son at the Marie Clinic in Dublin in March 1961. She called him Andre, on the basis he would be the only Andre in Ireland, in the hope of someday finding him.

During her long search, she claimed she was told by a nun that adopted children do not look for their birth parents and that he had been likely sent to America.

She eventually learned in 1997 that he had been placed with an Irish family, but despite her requests was not given information that would allow her to make contact him.

Mr Farrell was only made aware of his true origins in 2012. 

Both Mr Farrell, 57, and Mrs Reeves, 79, said his 'adoption' was unlawful and claimed his placement with the Farrells was done without the legal safeguards provided under the adoption laws.

They claimed false birth and baptism certificates were procured in respect of baby Andre.

They sought damages for alleged false misrepresentations made concerning Patrick's location.

They also alleged St Patrick's Guild engaged in a conspiracy and failed to provide them with information about each other in a timely manner.

They claimed there was a failure to protect their family rights and that Andre/Paddy was placed with the Farrells without their suitability being assessed.

The State, it was alleged, failed to vindicate or recognise the rights of the mother and son. 

The claims were all denied.

The society, represented by Felix McEnroy, said it did not make any false misrepresentations and did not try to thwart Mrs Reeves's effort to trace her son.

The State, represented by John Rogers, claimed it was a stranger to the claims and was not liable for any wrongs committed against the plaintiffs.