Category Archives: Uncategorized

Two years

Sean, this time two years ago you were still with us. A few hours later you were gone.

You once told us, when we were discussing religion, ‘I believe in the power of the human mind.’ So do we … we have not lost the faith.

Love you dearly. Miss you terribly. Always, but especially at this time of the year, when the leaves on the Norway maple are yellow, like they were on that day.



Filed under Uncategorized

Beating Heart, sung by Martina and Timmy

I hope you like it.


March 12, 2012 · 1:09 pm

Sean’s music 31 … The Beatles

We buried Sean a year ago today, and sang ‘Redemption Song’ with Bob Marley as the coffin was going into the ground, and some of us were throwing red roses on it. In the days before that – the time of Sean’s wake – we played the same CDs over and over in the room where his body lay, as hundreds of visitors came to pay their respects.

One of these was a CD that Clio had hurriedly compiled, of songs that meant a lot to Sean and to her. I don’t know where it went – perhaps it’s around the house somewhere, or Clio has it. There was a lot of Marley on it, but some other stuff as well, including two Beatles tracks – ‘Something’ and ‘Come Together’. I can well imagine Sean belting out ‘Come Together’ at the top of his voice while having a drink with his friends. It’s a track that suited his exuberance. Continue reading


Filed under Memories, Music, Uncategorized

Well done, Susanna! (again)

Susanna got her Leaving Cert results today, and did really, really well.

Congratulations, Susi … your mum and I are so proud of you, and Sean would be too … especially after the tough year you’ve had.

I always told you you were the best girl in the world. 🙂


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A great rugby day …

… as Leinster smash Northampton in the second half to win the Heineken Cup. One of the greatest performances ever by an Irish team, I think, and a truly epic match that never flagged and was a credit to both teams.

Sean watched Leinster beat Saracens in this competition on the last day of his life. How he would have loved today’s final. His namesake was terrific, and it was wonderful to see him in full flight as Leinster turned into an unstoppable force.

I often feel that Sean is still with us. I felt that today, and it was very emotional. Cheers, Sean. Love you.


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Sport, Uncategorized

Sean’s music 18 … Cold War Kids

I think Sean first became aware of this Californian band when ‘Hospital Beds’ was featured on Scrubs. He used to play this track a lot a couple of years ago; I associate it with a large batch of songs by other people, such as the Kings of Leon, Against Me! and Eagle-Eye Cherry, that he was also playing at the time – he would often say that he wanted to ‘show’ me a new song, or play something and ask me to guess who it was. Happy days and nights.

‘Hang Me Up to Dry’ became another favourite – I think these are two great tracks. ‘Hospital Beds’ will always be one of the songs that most remind me of Sean – one of the couple of hundred songs that can make me cry, as I wrote in a song of my own. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Music, Uncategorized

Songs for Sean … ‘Love Remains’ and ‘Losing You’

I’ve written a couple of songs for Sean. Please click on the titles below to hear them.

Love Remains

Some notes in order
On a waveless sea
Come drifting across the twilight border
Between you and me
Your voice is unclear, but I can hear
You singing now, wherever you may be
A renegade tune from a cut-throat moon
I wake up then, and this is what I see.
Continue reading


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Music, Uncategorized

Sean’s music 6 … Elliott Smith

Chronologically, the next musical ‘big thing’ in Sean’s life after Kings of Leon and Against Me! was Elliott Smith. This was a departure for Sean … more moody and introspective than his usual taste.

He loved the movie Good Will Hunting (as I do) … it was one of his all-time favourites. There are several Elliott Smith songs on the soundtrack, which work very well. This, I presume, is what first drew Sean to Smith’s music.

For a while, Sean played Smith an awful lot, not only in the office but on the laptop in the sitting-room on a Friday night, say, when Pauline and I were relaxing and drinking wine. We got an overdose, and the songs started to seem dreary and ‘samey’ (‘Oh God, not Elliott Smith again!’). We expressed this to Sean, diplomatically, but he was always a proselytizer for music he believed in, and didn’t discourage easily. He thought it would grow on us. Continue reading


Filed under Memories, Music, Uncategorized

To Sean … The Last Day of Your Life

[Some early thoughts on Sean and his death … perhaps a bit sentimental, but it’s how I feel.]

The leaves of the Norway maple were turning yellow,
My dry-stone wall was in partial collapse
From all the footballs we had kicked against it;
The lawn was unmown; the mower needed fixing;
The fields were full of pheasants, the weather warm and dry;
You were nineteen years old; I was fifty.
It was the last day of your life, Sean,
But we didn’t know that yet.

Your mum and Susi were in Italy;
You and Clio walked the dogs
And laughed at Tango’s antics;
The three of us went to the Pumpkin Festival office
And bought tickets for the Fancy Dress Ball
And Imelda May; you noticed a candle-holder
Of stained glass that your mother made. Continue reading


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Human being = mechanism?

Certain people of a ‘scientific’ and ‘atheistic’ bent posit that the human being (i.e. the human body, including the mind – which is merely activity in the brain) is a kind of mechanism or machine or gene receptacle, and the brain is a ‘box of wires’. To me, this raises various questions.

1. Why is the human mechanism better or more deserving of respect than any other mechanism … a lawnmower, say, or, a cat?
2. Whence do concepts such as human dignity, human rights, personal morality, right and wrong, good and evil arise, and what is their justification?
3. Why should anyone be held responsible for their actions, given that these are caused by chemical reactions in the brain, and chemicals have no sense of right and wrong?
4. Why do you have the concept of a quasi-separate ‘I’, as in ‘my body’, if you are just your body?
5. How can volition be anything other than an illusion?
6. Why should feelings, emotions, etc. have any importance if they are mere artefacts of chemical reactions?

I ask because I want to know.


Filed under Philosophy of life, Psychology, Uncategorized