From Derry to Glasgow
One of the most vivid memories I have of the day I left Ireland was my youngest sister Micheala heading to the shop and waving to me with one hand while in the other hand clutching the blue oil can I had carried up and down the road to the shop many times. I didn’t realize it as my fathers car left our street it would be the last time I would live there as I was supposed to be going on a weeks holiday to Scotland that was in December 1980 I was sixteen years old.
I remember my father seeing me onto the coach in Dungiven with my bag, a guitar and an accordion and telling me to watch myself I got a little hug from him My father was not given to hugging I wondered afterwards did he know I wasn’t coming back home?.having sang and played my guitar on the ferry and some accordion tunes much to the delight of many passengers who threw money into my guitar case.
A man asked where I was getting picked up in Glasgow I said “The Gorbals” he said, “oh dear you better be careful, it’s full of gangs with knifes “. I worried the rest of the journey on the coach imagining myself getting kidnapped or stabbed or worse, I had managed to survive the troubles in N Ireland what kind of place was I going?