Left out at the last minute
I was a member of the Westland Row boy scouts and we were selected to provide a guard of honour for the President outside Leinster House. Although an active scout and eventually Senior Patrol Leader, I was never very good at the detail stuff. I guess too much else going on in my mind, hurling, football and girls. Anyway, we all had to meet prior to the event for a uniform inspection. I turned up (minus garter tags) – often missed. This time, Alfie O’Dowd the troop leader had no mercy and sent me home. The troop went on to form the guard of honour with great distinction and I lost my chance to be close to my boyhood hero. Over the years I have come to understand the complexity of JFK and have seen his passing as the death of innocence. I still regret that afternoon’s missed chance but there you go. Life is full of such occasions, some for the better.
- in Leinster House