GQ: Take me back to the beginning of your life.
My life started on the banks of the Boyne in County Meath. Navan is the name of the town; only me, Mom, Dad. Dad ran to the hills; never saw him 'til I was thirty-one. Mother looked after me and took off to London to be a nurse, to get out of the repression of Catholic-shaming and upbringing. She went to the new land to start a life for me, and consequently there was a separation there.
I was with my grandparents and then they died; one after the other, more or less, and then I was with an aunt, Aunt Rosie, and then I lived with her, but they were starting a family, and they couldn't look after me. And then I lived with Uncle Phil. And they were both starting families, so I finally lived with a wonderful lady called Eileen Reilly. She had a lodging house. I lived in a little room with the lodgers until I was about eleven.
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