Friday 20 July 2018

Madness and kindness on an all-Paddy site

London 1987

Eugene O'Brien

Blacksod Bay is a bay of the Atlantic Ocean in Erris, north County Mayo. It is 16km long and 8km wide and is bound by the Mullet Peninsula.

On a London building site in the summer of 1987, I worked with a 19-year-old lad born right beside it who was named after it, Blacksod. He told me one day that he'd always been called Blacksod, that he didn't know what his real name was.

Blacksod was a ball of energy and instinct. He'd career out the front door of the house we were renovating, with a full wheelbarrow, along a plank, dump the debris, swivel, and back again, singing "COME OUT YE BLACK AND TANS" at the top of his lungs, scaring the bejaysus out of the posh denizens of Knightsbridge.

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