The Shame of Ireland
From the day I left Artane in October 1947 I've been running from my past. As I was known as Charlie from the being of my 'stay' in State custody from the age of two, it helped to learn on my release that my first name was in fact Patrick. It was therefore easy to forget about Charlie and leave him locked behind.
My race began in earnest when I fell in love with an eighteen year old clothing factory girl They started work at fourteen in those days. I had joined the RAF at the age of seventeen; just scraped in as a messing orderly, as I could just about read and write. With no home to go to on weekends off and leave periods I travelled the length and breath of the UK and stayed in bed and breakfast places, plus the YMCA. In those days there were signs a plenty of "No dogs or Irish allowed".
It was on one of those leave trips that I landed up in a small coal mining town in Co. Durham where I met the girl who became my wife. She came from a very materially poor family home of a two up two down terrace house. She had two brothers and two sisters. Her home contained a rich loving environment that no money could buy.
At first, she refused my proposal of marriage as she was too young, but then accepted me when she turned twenty. All I had to offer was a dream and with her love and inspiration I achieved what many would consider an impossible dream. There are so many things I've accomplished I now find it hard to believe I was capable of.
As if my earlier life had not been challenging enough, I was presented with much heartache to overcome along the way. Now that it's all over and I'm all alone, death can't come soon enough. Sorry I'll have to break off here as the pain has gotten too much.