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Never too late to learn

HAVING learned to read in his 50s, Sixmilebridge-based Joe McDonagh will give a talk in Shannon Library next Tuesday at 11am about his journey as an adult learner. Originally from Fedamore, he left school at the age of 13 and admits that he had almost no understanding of the written word. “I could just write my own name. I used landmarks to get places. If you showed me a place once, I could get back there but if I saw a sign, I wouldn’t know what it meant.” A painter and decorator by trade, he spent years in England, originally working with his uncles and sending money home to his parents in Limerick. “I’d paint rooms, pass bricks; you didn’t need to read or write to do that,” he reflects. In the early 2000s he was back in Ireland when his working life came to an abrupt halt. “I got scoliosis in the spine and got vertigo. The doctor told …

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