Friday, September 29, 2017


St. Vincent and the Grenadines


I have decided that I may have been talking more about the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines than the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. more about the needs of its people than and about the character of its people. As a result, I have decided that I am going to periodically "showcase" some of its outstanding individuals with my own "Hero of the Month" award.


When was the date of your birth? 27/11/1943

Where were you born? Monaghan - 4 miles from the border with Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom)

How many siblings? 4 sisters (Alice alive) and two bothers (Nigel alive) - both younger than me

What did your father and mother do for a living? My mother was a house wife all of her life - died at the age of 96. My father was a civil servant (Revenue Commissioners) - died at age of 64.

Where did you go to school? Went to secondary school (minor seminary) as a boarder (200 miles from home - a very long distance in the 1960's). Attended major seminary (African Mission Society) for 4 years.

When did you get married? What was her name? Married Catherine in 1970 - she died in April 2014

Where did you work? Worked as a CPA mainly within industry

Where did you live? Moved to the West coast of Ireland overlooking Galway Bay - an area where the Gaelic language was predominantly spoken

How many children? Names?. Mary was our only child who is now married to Tommy with two sons, Euan and Cai. She also lives about two miles from my home.

How long was your wife Catherine sick and how long did you care for her? Catherine was diagnosed with encephalitis, a rare but serious disease, in 2008. From its onset she became depended on a wheel chair. Needing full time care, I gave up my job to look after her. She was further diagnosed with esophageal cancer 18 months before she died

How did you get involved in SVG? Martin, my friend who has been in SVG for ten years contacted me within 6 months after Catherine died and invited me out. I turned the offer down on grounds of old age! Months later he came home to Ireland for his brother's funeral and made contact with me again in Nov 2014 - a very persistent negotiator. I arrived here in March 2015.

What is the best part of being in SVG? The climate, the food, the enticing sea with swimming possible all year are all major factors, but its the people who are responsible for my extended stay here. The Irish are reputed for their Cead mile failte (a thousand welcomes), but they could learn a lot from the "Vinceys"

What is the hardest part?. I miss Mary my daughter a lot. It was a real treat and something special when she came out to visit me after my first six months here. It was the first opportunity that we had to have a memorable heart to heart chat about the role of Catherine in our lives - mother and wife. But it is a comfort to know that Mary is enjoying her own family with Tommy and two special little boys who came late in life. Skype is fantastic, but in many ways it is a poor second to the experience of the warmth of a family embrace that needs no words.

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