In the 1980’s I grew up reading The Sunday Independent in rural county Antrim. My Laois-born mother and myself went to mass at half past nine every sunday in Cullybackey and on the way home we stopped in Gaston’s garage and bought The Irish Independent – I think there was a grand total of 5 copies of it sold in Ahoghill every week and it was kept behind the counter out of sight.
Frequently I think of my Dad and what an impact he had on my life – like reading a broadsheet when I was still in primary school, or knowing the names of the British cabinet at the age of 11 – but lately I have been thinking a lot of my mother.
I am so proud to be a writer with the ability to be published in The Indo, and if my poor mother was alive now, this small achievement would have made her so proud. She never lived to see me settle in the ‘free-state’, nor to see any of her grandchildren from me, but I think one her proudest moments would have been tomorrow when she could have seen my picture and my feature in her beloved Independent.