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A Long Road to Freedom: The Life of Patrick MC Crystal Paperback – 20 Jul 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse UK (20 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456781197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456781194
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,090,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Mary McCartan has been a Managing Director in a number of business sectors with a career in Nursing, Montessori Education and more recently in Educational Tourism. She lives on a small farm with her husband and two sons in Northern Ireland.This is her first novel and prior to Patrick's request to write his biography Mary had no experience of publishing. This project has been a huge research and creative endeavour for the author and hopefully will not be her last.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary on 26 July 2011
Format: Paperback
An Irish Soldier's Battle Cry for Peace
This is a story for anyone interested in history or anyone who is interested in hearing one of less publicized voices of the Northern Ireland community. It is time for the middle ground to have a say.. Patrick particularly hoped that this book would attract the youth as he felt his life had been manipulated by economic, social and political issues in the 1930's, which are similar to what young people may have to face now or in the near future. Patrick loved young people as they are the future and have the energy to make a difference, but he worried that in their quest for justice their passion may find them following a piped piper of evil. We see war everyday on our televisions or in video games etc, but we only get the satellite view. Patrick wanted people to hear the individual emotional impact of hatred and revenge and consider the long reaching damage one decision to attack can make on a family for many generations after.
A Long Road To Freedom is one man's physical, emotional and spiritual survival during World War 2 and the Northern Ireland Troubles. This is a human story of a young man who finds himself trapped in a world that was plunged into the chaos of war. It could be any young person, in any time era and anywhere in the world. Patrick attempts to explain the circumstances and attitudes that lead to war and we have to ask if humankind has learned anything by 2011 from the mistakes of the past. We are very vulnerable again of letting hatred and lack of understanding about our inherited emotional psyche lead us on a path to destruction especially in an economic crisis. War benefits some people but millions of innocent beautiful souls pay the price.

Most men returning from World War 2 never spoke about their experiences.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eliza on 4 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
A Long Road to Freedom kept me captivated until I just had to put it down..and that was because I had reached the end of the story. I am not normally one to talk about war or to listen about war...never mind read a book about war, but Packie's story touched my heart with such intensity I felt a myriad of emotion for him - fear for his life, compassion for his lost youth and innocence, a deep sadness for what he endured and the sights he saw, for what he was ordered to do, and gratitude and joy for his return to his beloved homeland and the mammy he loved so much. But most of all, I felt a sense of pride in his courage, a sense of comradeship in his spirit, and a yearning to have his dear gotten wisdom reach the hearts of all that hold onto hatred and revenge, and all those who turn away with fear in their hearts. Thank you, Packie, for the part you played in my freedom. And thank you, Mary McCartan, for preserving his story. I am so happy he was given a voice.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rosey H on 28 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down and took great comfort from Paddy's words and unwaveringly positive outlook on life despite everything that was thrown at him. Paddy has a wonderful story to tell and message to share. The author, Mary McCartan has done an outstanding job with this book.
Paddy McCrystal passed away in January 2011. For most of his life, he kept the biggest and darkest of secrets of his youth serving in the British army in WW2 and being held captive in POW camps by the Nazis. Following the death of his daughter Geraldine in a terrorist bomb in Northern Ireland in 1998, and an innocent comment from a fellow war veteran who had attended her wake Paddy's secrets were discovered. This is his story. Four weeks ago, following a long & courageous battle with cancer another of Paddy's daughters Kate was buried. It was on that dark day that this inspiring book with a message of peace was launched. This is a truly touching book about a remarkable and incredibly modest and humble man. If you are interested in Irish history, the history of WW2 or simply a message of peace from someone who witnessed first-hand the most brutal horrors of humanity then I hope you will read this book. First class.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frankie G on 30 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
Review of `Long Road to Freedom' by Frank Galligan

Charles Kingsley, author of `The Water-Babies', once wrote: "Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead, - from human souls whom we never saw, who lived perhaps thousands of miles away; and yet these, on those little sheets of paper, speak to us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers." My sentiments exactly, having read `The Long Road to Freedom' by Patrick McCartan, who sadly passed away some months before it's publication but perhaps, that is how this most remarkable and humble of men may have wished it....no fanfare, no fuss, just closure.
Just after Christmas, in early 1937, at the age of seventeen and a half, Patrick McCartan hitched a lift to Omagh and walked into St. Lucia's barracks. He had convinced himself that he wanted to see the world and his "family needed the five bob a week." He died on January 4th 2011, having survived a World War and losing his beloved daughter Geraldine in the Omagh Bomb. In his final year, he reminisced:
"Even the Berlin Wall came down in 1989and the Eastern European countries found their feet again relatively peacefully. What was wrong in Northern Ireland? Borders seem to sort themselves out after time everywhere else, but here we just didn't have patience to wait. Revengeful attacking just strengthened the border and the resolve to keep it. We were in a state of bully boy-rule on all sides and the peace loving people had no voice. My family knew how to keep out of trouble and if we kept our head down and our noses clean we could manage through the remainder of this conflict. And so we did, right through all those years to the bitter end, as we thought. I'd forgotten about the dying kicks of then war.
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