Together in friendship's name by John Grehan
John Grehan was born in Co. Longford in the Republic of Ireland in 1928. The second eldest son of a family of seven, he spent little time at school, working on a farm for 6 shillings a week from the age of thirteen. In his early twenties John joined many of his countrymen, and boarded the ferry at Dun Laoghaire for England. Life for a casual labourer in England was tough - digging roads with a pick and shovel, rough lodging houses and isolation. But life went on and John worked his way through a variety of different jobs - a short spell on the railway hauling heavy rails and dirty sleepers; then a salesman; then a few years in the motor industry before a return to hard manual work in the tunnels. His final position before retirement was as part of a team maintaining London's bridges. Over these years, he wrote poetry in his spare time, as a retreat from the gruelling realities of life and as an outlet for his creativity.