AN emotional Nell McCafferty was yesterday in her home in Ranelagh, listening to her radio in the kitchen, as her great love told the nation how she is dying.
Nell has never been afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve as regards her feelings for Nuala O'Faolain, despite the pain and grief their split caused.
Those who know her know that Nuala is the love of her life, but she rarely talks about it publicly and was saying little on the subject yesterday.
"I'm still listening to it," Nell told the Sunday Independent, with tears in her eyes. "It's f***kin' brilliant, she was brilliant, brave."
Her depth of feeling is evidenced by her reluctance to talk about Nuala -- feisty and brash Nell is unusually quiet on the subject, while Nuala has documented it in her book Almost There and again spoke openly of their love on RTE radio yesterday.
She paid tribute to Nell in words that could not have failed to move listeners -- and especially her former partner.
She cried as she pointed out that Irish women owe much to Nell -- and she was lucky to be in a relationship with her. "I lived for years with Nell McCafferty, let's say for 15 years, and 12 of those were the greatest fun, and I owe so much to them. As far as I am concerned, Irish women owe so much to Nell and I was lucky to live with her.
"But, then again, it ended up not so hot, but it is my great pleasure to be in contact with Nell and to thank her."
Full interview, Pages 4,5
The writer Nuala O' Faolain is dying of cancer. In an emotion-charged interview with Marian Finucane broadcast on RTE yesterday she revealed that she was diagnosed six weeks ago in New York. She said the cancer, which began in her lungs but has now spread to her brain and liver, is incurable. She has turned down the option of chemotherapy, which could help prolong her life