Ben Briscoe: Man who fought many wars for good of others
Much has been reported, written and speculated about my late friend Dr John O'Connell. John was essentially a family man who loved his children and grandchildren greatly and spent much of his time with them, especially in his last years.
Born in 1927 in the Liberties of Dublin, he spent his early years there and subsequently grew up in Drumcondra. One of six children, John grew up in poverty and knew what it was to be hungry. He lost a beloved sister to TB in the 1940s.
I first met John when he was a medical student in the Royal College of Surgeons where he was enabled to study medicine through a special grant available to ex-servicemen at the end of World War Two.