Irish Nurse's Wedding Inspires March For The Cure

(ACPA-Dublin) It was a damp Friday evening in Dublin and with the bells of Christchurch signaling 8pm, Nurse Eileen O'Shea finished up an extended shift in St James's hospital. She was glad to get the overtime, but now she was running late for an evening out with the girls. Not thinking twice about it, she took a shortcut down the narrow cobblestones of Kilmainham Lane.

Not far away, Sonny Driscoll, a three-year police veteran, was heading back to Harcourt Street station to clock out, when he saw Eileen turn into the narrow alley. "Ah, she should know better than to be going down there alone," he thought.

by itub on wikipedia GNU FDL license Damien "Damo" Devine was desperate for a fix. He had begged 50 Euro sitting outside Dunnes Stores on Baggot Street and now he was ready to get high. But the taxi to his dealer was more expensive than he expected, so he was 5 Euro short for a fix. "Red lights 1,2 f&*king three," he thought to himself , laughing out loud at his own joke. But the need for money and the growing gnawing in his bones, quickly sapped his humor. Then he turned into Kilmainham Lane and saw opportunity rushing towards him.

The good news for Damo was that he would probably die of an overdose before going to prison, the bad news was that he was an insipid, despicable, skin-and-bones junkie with a young bull of a guard going full speed at him. He had no chance, even with his rusty needle flashing a dull silver under a street light.

by itub on wikipedia GNU FDL license "O thank you guard, thank you," cried Eileen, white as a sheet and sick to her stomach. "Not at all, not at all," reassured Sonny, as he casually threw Damo into the back of his squad car. "Guard Emer here will drive you home now."

Emer, a reassuring lass from Cork, took Eileen home safely and she stopped in with her for a cup of tea, to make sure Eileen got comfortably settled. The two of them got on like a house on fire and Eileen soon had her composure restored. "Ah, I meet a lot of chancers like that in the hospital every other day," she explained to Emer. "They should know better than to threaten a nurse."

by jon sullivan Three weeks later, Eileen and her nurse friends met up with Emer and her crew for drinks in Dublin's famed Copper Faced Jacks. Guards and nurses flirted heavily with each other and groups of fine country lads slowly got drunk while discussing the merits of various hurling teams. Over to the side stood Sonny, looking dashing in his civilian garb. Eileen kicked herself for not noticing how handsome he was while he was saving her from the scumbag Damo. So up she got, over she went and with a modest glint in her country-girl eye, she said, "Thank you, Sonny, you saved me."

The weeks passed and soon Sonny and Eileen were inseparable. It didn't matter that Cork beat Mayo in the All-Ireland, or that Eileen would throw up after six vodkas, they were an item and everyone felt good being around them.

publicdomain by irishbud1 on wikipedia It was St. Patrick's Day in Dublin and the city was alive with excitement and revelry. Marching bands from around the world converged on Dublin. Majorettes dazzled the crowd with their acrobatics and color. Firefighters from New York, marched to honor their Irish ancestry, reminding the crowd of a shared emigrant past.

Somewhere between the camaraderie, the music, and his sixth pint of Guinness, Sonny found the courage to bend down on one knee and propose. An overjoyed Eileen screamed "Yes!" Congratulations abounded, celebratory pints were consumed, and a memorable Irish night of drafts and libations ensued. "Slainte to St. Patrick and double-slainte to Sonny and Emer," cried out the lads and lasses till the wee hours of the morning.

A few brief months of preparation followed, with Eileen making the wedding arrangements herself, right down to the prayers for the faithful for mass.

terror cat, copyright unknown The big day was a tremendous success with a gregarious afternoon turning into a raucous evening of drinks and dances, enjoyed by all. The last stragglers filed out of Ryan's pub at 2:30am. Most of the revelers wandered off to a Bed-and- Breakfast on the outskirts of the village, while close friends took rest in O'Shea's living room.

On Sunday morning, Driscoll, his new bride, and dozens of others found themselves outside Ryan's looking to have a hair of the dog that bit them. But a disconsolate Ryan could only cry, "Ah Jaysus folks, you drank the bar dry last night and I won't have a delivery till tomorrow."

A lesser man would have packed his bags and gone home, but Sonny, a country boy who never did anyone wrong, and an assured and affable host to boot, remained undaunted. "Look lads," said Sonny, "lets walk down by the B&B, pick up the stragglers and head for John Spring's pub in Lecanvy, I know it's eight miles but the air will do us good."

"Driscoll you've surpassed yourself, that's genius," shouted Pat Feery heartily, and indeed the rising murmur of approval gave tell to a consensus that the walk was on.

publicdomain, by Eamonn P Keane Shortly thereafter a troop of hungover revelers were meandering along the peaceful back roads to Lecanvey, an inspiring view of Croagh Patrick Mountain with its pilgrim climbers keeping them resolute. Word quickly spread along the rural grapevine and local residents were soon out on the side of the road cheering on the tired and weary revelers, bravely marching for the cure on a sunny Irish morning.

"If Walter's comes, can Spring's be far behind?" shouted Walt Bannon, encouraging the marchers as they passed his landmark General Store.

Finally, the tenacious diaspora of marchers arrived at Springs, tired and weary, but full of pride in their Herculean achievement. A congenial crowd of early drinkers applauded the cohorts as they entered, and the ceiling almost lifted from the cheers when John Spring announced, "Folks, the first round is on the house." The walk for the cure had produced its first miracle.

Later, as each walker sat quietly sipping that first tasty cobweb-clearing pint of Guinness, a sheen of pride colored the cheeks of each marcher. No doubt it had been tough, but the Walk For The Cure had been worth it.

Slainte ya boyos!

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