'Och, I only wanted to warn him of the bad company to be found in pubs.
This is my father who left us when I was ten to spend every penny he earned in the pubs of Coventry with German bombs dropping all around him, his family next to starvation in Limerick and here he is putting on the air of one in the grip of sanctifying grace and all I can think of is there must be some truth to the story he was dropped on his head or the other story that he had a disease like meningitis.
That might be an excuse for the drinking the dropping on the head or the meningitis. German bombs couldn't be an excuse because there were other Limerickmen sending money home from Coventry, bombs or no bombs. There were even men who fell in with Englishwomen and still sent money home though that money would slow down to nothing because Englishwomen are notorious for not wanting their Irishmen to support their families at home when they have three or four snotty-nosed English brats of their own running around demanding bangers and mash. Many an Irishman at the end of the war was so desperate trapped between his Irish and English families there was nothing for him to do but jump on a ship to Canada for Australia never to be heard from again.
That wouldn't be my father. If he had seven children from my mother it was only because she was there in the bed doing her wifely duty. Englishwomen are never that easy. They'd never suffer an Irishman who would leap on them in the bravery of a few pints and that means there are no little McCourt bastards running the streets of Coventry.
I don't know what to say to him with his little smile and his Och aye because I don't know if I'm talking to a man in his right man or the man dropped on his head or the one with meningitis. How can I talk to him when he gets up, sticks his hands deep into his trouser pockets and......'
- Debolina Raja Gupta