One night in the early '50s when John was a young man returning home to his mothers house, he came across a man and woman sitting on the roadside. They engaged him in conversation and he soon realised that they were living in a tent behind the ditch.
They began to relate to him a tragic story, a story that was to bring John back to their tent a number of times.
Their story begins in the 1920s. Molly and her husband Frank worked on a large country estate . They had four children but hardship had already claimed the lives of three of their children whose names were: Frank, Peter, Jim and the little girl who survived her name was Angel Marie.
One day when Angel was 12 years old Molly had to go on an errand she told Angel to open the gate if visitors called. When Molly returned a short while later she noticed two men on horseback friends of the master of the estate talking to Angel. Unknown to the men Molly observes one of them give a half crown to the little girl and hears him say " I'm going to ask the master if I can have her to work in my place isn't that something to look forward to ". Molly was alarmed and feared for her daughter's safety. She tells her husband Frank about her fears for Angel. Some time later when the master and most of his household go to England on business Molly and Frank flee from the estate with their daughter Angel. After they flee they are falsely accused of stealing from the estate and they become fugitives.
Branded as criminals, they disguise Angel as a boy to avoid being identified as the thieves who fled the estate. They travel the length and breath of Ireland living on the roads. At times they blended in with the travelling community who were sympathetic to their plight and helped them to avoid detection. They were also helped by sympathetic farmers they met along the way. They lived in fear of what would happen to their daughter if they were caught. Their only hope of escape lies with the " Brotherhood " and some influential Americans who befriend them, offering the possibility of escape, but at a terrible price.
Published by Mercier Press,
John's book can be bought in Book Wise Medges Lane Navan Co. Meath and in Easons Navan Shopping Center