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Sunday 18 November 2018

The spy who came in from the cold - to Enniscorthy Library!

Michael Freeman (publisher), Clora McGuinness, Ted Hayes and Jarlath Glynn (librarian) at the ‘TedHayes: Sailor, Airman, Spy’ reading by Ted Hayes in Enniscorthy Library
Michael Freeman (publisher), Clora McGuinness, Ted Hayes and Jarlath Glynn (librarian) at the ‘TedHayes: Sailor, Airman, Spy’ reading by Ted Hayes in Enniscorthy Library

Pádraig Byrne

While Ted Hayes will be a familiar face to many, having lived in Oylegate with his late wife Annette for some eleven years, not too many people will have been aware of his colourful past as a Cold War spy!

While quite a few people will be familiar with Ted, his life story is almost stranger than fiction and is the topic of a fascinating new book published by Three Sisters Press - 'Sailor, Airman, Spy - Memoir of a Cold War Veteran'.

A fascinating and amiable character, Ted sat down at Enniscorthy Library for a chat with publisher of the book Michael Freeman in front of an engrossed audience. He spoke of how he had run away from home at the age of just 17, choosing a life at sea. He joined the Royal Air Force and served in both Scotland and Northern Ireland. At this point, Ted's life took a twist and he was among a covert group of twelve young men sent to a secret location in England where he trained in languages and surveillance.

What followed was a trip behind the Iron Curtain to West Berlin at a complex time for international relations when tensions were running high between east and west. Ted recounted from stories from his past from the book at the Library on the night and was more than happy to chat and sign copies for those present. With his bubbly and friendly demeanour, you'd never have Ted pegged for a Cold War spy and his connection to the locality makes this read all the more fascinating! The book is available in local bookshops now and from Three Sisters Press.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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