Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

RTE Radio documentary The Ballad of Patrick Folen tells a story that on October 19th 2006 workmen discovered human bones in Horton Woods, near West Kingsdown in Kent, England – Police believe those remains to be those of Irishman Patrick Folen.

I loved that image of his mother telling him to wash his feet and no matter that he was sleeping rough in the woods, he made sure he washed them each day. Also compelling to consider is the number of people who go and went missing and are not heard from. The reactions of the people who responded to the letters, the two women, who determine “No, no, that’s not Patsy” and the banter in the background. “That man’s a Connemara man” “That man’s a farmer”.

Many’s the time back in the day I’d run into old fellas around Euston Station who fell by the wayside. They often had time for you such people and would tell you of their lives.  The only prose poem I ever wrote was of one such encounter.

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