In the long process of writing and publishing Children of the Cromlech, I was forced to face up to the realities of my place in rural Ireland of the mid-century. I have commented on occasion that I was the lucky one, the one with the shoes, the cherished late arrival, the cuckoo in the nest. And so it was but now I have dug deep in retrieving memories and building a social scene from which I did not escape unscathed. The book is a realistic fiction based on distasteful facts. Two revelations – I was effectively exiled from Ireland at age 12 to a residential diocesan junior seminary not 12 miles away from home. My only adult contacts were celibates, priests or nuns. Very quickly, I became a visitor and progressively a stranger in my own village and even to my family. I am not sure, even now, 70 years later, that I fully recovered. Too much was lost or hidden. The second and more important discovery is a question which remains – not why my characters and thousands of their peers escaped Ireland but why on earth did anyone stay.