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Old friends are best. Meet Brendan

I first met Brendan O’Neill in the summer of 1970. I was still a secondary student and had landed a summer job in the Reading Room of the Cork Examiner (now the Irish Examiner). Over the next few months I gravitated towards Brendan, drawn by his quiet demeanor and his interest in writing. He it was who introduced me to Donal Foley’s Man Bites Dog … Continue reading Old friends are best. Meet Brendan

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A chilling visit to Dachau

It’s hard to believe that today, despite the overwhelming evidence, some people still deny the existence of the Holocaust when six million Jews were killed as part of the Nazi extermination policy. I have, over the years, read countless books on World War 2, especially about the conflict itself; but later I studied the rise of the Nazis, its policies, and anti-Jewish programmes. It made … Continue reading A chilling visit to Dachau

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Always look on the bright side of life

I’m lucky to be alive, seriously. I cheated death in a fire, despite being on the critical list for weeks, and endured years of hospitalisation and numerous operations. I put up with abuse and harassment as I grew up, was beaten up a few times for my sins, and suffered a million and one humiliations to my psyche, self esteem and confidence. I haven’t been … Continue reading Always look on the bright side of life

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RIP Brendan Prendiville, the genius who rebuilt my face

Brendan Prendiville died last month. His death may have escaped you – it certainly might have done so for me too but for the vigilance of my┬áIrish Times┬áreading sister-in-law Margaret who spotted an acknowledgement to him in the paper and alerted Trish. Of course the name means nothing to you, but to me he was a God. Yes, Prendiville played that role in my life … Continue reading RIP Brendan Prendiville, the genius who rebuilt my face