About the Author


Paul_Pat_Jack_John _ Jim

Contacting the Living

Henry had visited his cousin in the deep rural splendour of Leitrim last year (see Sligo Champions) when we took an excursion there from Sligo. And he had been planning a return this May while Aisling was travelling to Killybegs in Donegal. This was to be another of our regular stays in Cloghey Cottages, Fintra,… Read More

Whiskey You’re the Devil

Anne Saunders runs the Lakeshore holiday village in Blessington. Last year when we were staying there she showed us the new development which was still being built along the edge of the lake. She was full of enthusiasm for the project which would include restaurants and water sports and other leisure facilities. She told us… Read More


The East and the West

The news wasn’t good. In fact, it got worse each day. The ship’s officers had barricaded themselves in the engine room now and Maureen and Liz in the Liverpool office, who had booked our sailing tickets and accommodation, couldn’t tell us when the dispute would be over. Negotiations were going on and the union was… Read More


Sligo Champions

Charlie, who works with the Aisling Project, said to me one day that she had just assessed a new referral that was the spitting image of Fred Astaire, right down to his shiny shoes. This was Sean, who arrived at the Irish Centre on our day of departure for our latest trip to Sligo looking… Read More


The Curse of the Drinking Classes

I didn’t even know Mick was Irish. I thought he was a cockney git always causing trouble at reception, a bit like Alf Garnett’s more bigoted brother, but without the charm. When Sally said she wanted to bring him to Donegal with us, I mustn’t have seemed best pleased, but she explained to me that… Read More


Family Value

There was a concert for Aisling held at Vicar Street in Dublin last December. It was organised by Sean McGarry, a supporter of the cause and a very decent man. Before the concert myself and Joe sat in a corner of the bar meeting friends of Sean’s who had been out selling tickets over the… Read More


Knots and Loose Ends

It is good to be able to put a story to bed. Last summer we reported on our website about a visit we made to Schull in Co Cork and the journey we made while we were there to Killarney, on the trail of the family of Patsy. Patsy is one of our long-term contacts… Read More


Our Homes in Donegal

For the last two years Aisling has been staying for a free week every May in two holiday cottages in Donegal donated by supporters of the project. The cottages sleep 10 and we have enjoyed some memorable times there. John went to collect Billy at the hostel where he lives in Willesden. Billy had no… Read More


The Hard Road Home

In Blessington by the lakes we hired four houses for the week of St. Patrick’s Day. When we arrived in Dublin on the ferry we were having serious trouble with Shane who it seems had decided that he did not want to be with us. He had wandered off a few times on the way… Read More


West Cork Connections

Corkery’s bar is on the high street in Killarney. It stands proudly as the last of the old pub/groceries in the town. It is a pleasure to make your way through the shop at the front past the sacks of grain, boxes of fruit and veg and stacks of tinned food. In the back is… Read More