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Abstaining brings pains and gains

John Daly


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A statue of Father Theobald Mathew in Cork. He encouraged half the population of Ireland to abstain from alcohol in the 1840s

A statue of Father Theobald Mathew in Cork. He encouraged half the population of Ireland to abstain from alcohol in the 1840s

A statue of Father Theobald Mathew in Cork. He encouraged half the population of Ireland to abstain from alcohol in the 1840s

My pal Mike is fierce jumpy this week. With just 13 days left in Lent, the man who never previously gave up anything in his life now veers between the high of newfound purity and the low of midnight desperation.

As his 40-day struggle without a jar or fags heads toward the final hurdle, he’s a walking lesson on the power of abstinence. Brave enough that he volunteered at age 50 to axe the joy of his daily pint, ditching the ciggies at the same time seems a bridge too far.


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