Tony's story (part 4, page 1) "Young man travelling"
For my first ever journey across the water I was around 16 years old, almost 41 years ago. It seems like a lifetime now, and I remember with sadness and excitement the first time leaving home. It was a new venture but what was in store for me? All kinds of things flashed through my mind - would I be homesick, how would I cope with the different way of life and would I be accepted being an Irishman in England?
I had heard all kind so stories about the verbal abuse of the so-called Paddy and how thick he was supposed to be. But then I remembered my excellent schooling and thought of all the clever Irishmen who had made it in another countries - men like the Duke of Wellington and Oscar Wilde, my heroes. My eldest Brother Patrick had moved to England to find work as most Irishman did in those days. I was to go to and stay with him and be schooled in the "ways of the Irishman abroad" (my Mother's saying, not mine!).
With trepidation I purchased my ticket for the night sailing and I said farewell to my parents and siblings. The boat, if memory serves me well, was called the Leinster and went from the North Wall in Dublin to Liverpool, England.
M.V. Leinster, photo [©] reproduced with kind permission of www.irishships.com