I often asked myself in my darkest moments why bother carrying on in a world that seemed to exclude me. It had defined me as different – not one of us, not normal. And I firmly believed that that world view wouldn’t change, that I would be forced to lead a life of seclusion other than going to work. I had built mental barriers to … Continue reading Why today could be the best day of your life
Whenever I wrote letters to pen pals for the first time – something I started in my teens – I would always tell them I had a facial disfigurement. I’m not sure why I did that. Did I fear they would stop writing if they found out later? Was I looking for pity? Was I so unsure of myself and them that I felt it … Continue reading Did I tell you I look different?
Well, I met the great Matt Cooper at last! An opportunity to talk about the blog and speak about facial disfigurement is never passed up, so when it was suggested I go into The Last Word studio and talk to Matt face-to-face I embraced it, after initially saying no. Thanks to Trish who persuaded me to make the journey to Dublin. I took the bus … Continue reading On the radio with Matt Cooper
She was sitting on the wall, her feet dangling over the side just feet above the river, struggling as two men held on to either arm. Moments earlier I had been on my way home after a long night’s work at the Examiner, my mind elsewhere as I drove. I had just dropped a colleague off, so the route was not my usual one. Suddenly … Continue reading The girl on the bridge
The other day Irish Water announced that 675,000 households paid their water bills. That’s 43% of customers. I’m one of them. When Irish Water sent me a form some months to complete, I signed it. Yes, I completed the whole thing, answered all questions truthfully, even gave my PPS number and bank details so the charge could be deducted quarterly. I’m sure some people would … Continue reading I paid my water charges
The county’s GAA colours (not Cork’s) caught my eye as the flag billowed in the Sunday breeze. My wife and I had just enjoyed a lovely lunch and catching some fresh air found ourselves walking by an old cemetery. There it was fluttering away and it struck us as odd that any flag would be present, unless it was the Tricolour, of course. As we … Continue reading Graves have become altars to excess
Five years in jail, with 18 months suspended, was the sentence handed down to Brian Keane from Galway this week. With remission he’ll be free in half that time. His crime? Using a lighter to set alight a home-made sheep’s costume worn by Matthew Sheridan at a Halloween fancy dress party and inflicting severe injuries to him. Picture the scene as Sheridan’s highly flammable costume … Continue reading Why would you set someone alight?