Pat came from rural Ireland. He worked in the building trade after leaving the army. He stayed in various bed-sits and boarding houses before moving into a city hostel.

A very proud, independent man, his great love was gaelic football. He played at senior level in his youth. It was our willingness to discuss sport as part of our social contact with him that led to his seeking help.

He drank heavily. With the help of others, including a local publican, it was possible to convince him that he needed care.

He expressed a wish to go to the ‘Harold’s Cross Tea Centre’ and a bed at the hospice was arranged for him. Contact was also made with his old sporting associates to let them know of his serious condition.

He spent his last days in contentment and was buried in his village as ‘a local sportsman’ with the local football colours. Few of those present knew of his difficult life. Those of us who did were the richer for knowing him and his struggle.