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A Long Road To Freedom: The Life Of Patrick Mc Crystal Paperback – 22 Jul 2011
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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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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. Still in their youth they simply closed the book on the past and started a new life. The young Irish fellas returning, especially to the North were forced to bury their history even further down and completely deny it for their own safety.
Patrick Mc Crystal was one of those men who arrived home alive with a story of horror. But he locked that story inside for fifty-three years before being forced to tell it.
This is his story. A first hand experience of a life time of war through the eyes of one Peace-loving man who has seen the devastation of some of the most gruesome attacks on civilian populations in the 20th Century.
Patrick found himself in Malta in 1940 trapped in the most bombed place in world history. After surviving the Siege of Malta he ended up in the frontline as the Germans slaughtered British Troops on Leros. As a POW Patrick helped bury the tens of thousands of German civilians killed in Dresden by Allied attacks.
Returning home to peaceful normality, war found him again in 1969. Raising a family through the Northern Ireland Troubles was difficult and Patrick suffered the loss of his daughter in the bombing of his hometown of Omagh in 1998.
This is the survival story of a man who has seen the best and worst of human nature and truly understands the sacrifice of travelling the long road to freedom
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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person felt about protecting his family in the troubled times in Northern Ireland.
very brave modest man!!
Charles Kingsley, author of `The Water-Babies', once wrote: "Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than...Read more