“SORRY LADS, HAVE TO BE HOME BEFORE HALF PAST EIGHT.”
It had been a balmy summers evening, the Friday of the Whit Weekend. We were playing football on Sandymount beach, and my team were not impressed about my departure. I walked home and was sent sent straight to bed before 9 o’clock, so as to be bright and cheerful for my very special day tomorrow. My mother woke me at 6.15 – 2 hours earlier than originally scheduled! She explained she had been awake all night with the noise of our windows shaking from what she thought was an earthquake. But upon listening to the first radio news bulletin of the day at 6.00 a.m. she learned that bombs had been dropped on the North Strand, 7 kms from us. The date was 31st May, 1941 – the day of my First Holy Communion.