By Breda Nathan

I was looking for something else when I found it… Memories came flooding back. It’s strange how finding a tiny but precious charm can change your thinking and lessen the stresses of the day.

A beautiful pearl tear drop encased in silver. I spent an hour shining it up and thinking of the late, great Frank Hall, who gave it to me. And of the lovable ‘Willie the Wino’ who made it possible.

Frank had a radio programme at the time, back in the 80s, and I wrote a little eulogy when Willie was found dead on the street.

To have my words read by Frank meant so much. He was a huge part of television and radio back then. We never missed a programme he was involved in.

I remember another man involved in the production rang me and he too was mourning the loss of Willie. He was a regular on the No. 19 bus and enjoyed all the craic.
They were different times…

‘Willie the Wino’ was a friendly, funny and harmless character, who slept rough in Rialto, Dublin for many years. Everyone liked him and I never heard anyone utter a cross word about him.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own