I suppose the simplest thing to do is allow the readers say a few words about my writing and then I’ll give you my own spiel! - All reader comments below are e-mails I received after publishing articles and were sent to me unprompted and are copied here unedited.
Comments on my recent observational piece “ A screeching wheel nut on top of the Corkscrew Hill “
“ Gerry you have a wonderful talent, I love reading all of your newsletters, you have a way to turning your experiences into masterpieces that encourages me to remember similar experiences and can relate to what you write. Your account of meeting up with your friends and family in Doolin reminded me of the characters I use to know in my village…And I am delighted your writing will still continue to hold the powers that be to account as I also intend to do after the horrendous pummeling we went through. I have subscribed and am delighted to do so “ - Antoinette
“ That was a beautiful piece of writing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Simple language but perfectly written from the heart. From the very first word of the very first line i was sucked into the article. I was drawn more and more into it as it went on. It was an article i could relate to in many ways “ Karen
“ That was a thoroughly enjoyable read Gerry, fair play to ya! It's the noticing of the smallest details and idiosyncrasies that let us know we are alive, we have heard, we have been heard and they are the things that truly matter and make us HU MAN! x “ Tanya
“ If you ever write a book please put me down for a copy, great prose, humour and insights “ Ed
Testimonial on my Interview with David Bissett and “ The Homeless man that rose up to Captain his Country “
What another absolutely phenomenal article. This has allowed me to know exactly what my own first article shall be.
I was addicted to non-IV heroin use from the age of 20 to 29. I had a horrific childhood, but being considered "middle class" meant no one cared. I was never allowed to tell my truth about what was happening at the time and so when I was voluntarily placed with other family members at 15, this furthered my belief that I must have done something wrong, something to have deserved everything that was going on around me.
Come March of 2021, I walked past an ice cream parlour, my favourite treat at the time, and got sick at the smell of this. I thought that perhaps the small twinges around my back and abdomen were the beginnings of a kidney infection, and so DDOC wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic. However, the symptoms did not subside whatsoever. On the 17th March, I had 20 minutes to wait for the number 15 bus to bring me home. I don't know what made me go and do what I did, but mindlessly I wandered into the chemist and bought a pregnancy test. Having suffered PCOS and other hormonal illnesses as a teenager, children were the one thing I was told I would never have. I remember reading the instructions on how to take the test..and within seconds of taking it, the positive result showed. I was completely, utterly and undeniably petrified, confused and upset, as how could I bring a child into this world knowing I had drugs in system while they were growing. But despite my tears, I knew he was a boy, and I knew he must be healthy for the results to keep showing up so imminently (I ended up buying 3 more after the first one
By the 26th March, 2021, I had managed to stabilise on buprenorphine, as Methadone was not able to do the same job due to Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome. I never once relapsed since. As soon as I managed to speak up for myself, in the sense of having to sit in my doctor's office and refusing to leave until I was passed onto a doctor who had the necessary qualifications to prescribe the new medication. I am now coming up to one year of being completely stable, with not a single relapse whatsoever. It is solely because of my beautiful, amazing, miraculous son Éanna that I managed to get away from the private hell I had inflicted upon myself. Before bubsies came along, my life had no meaning. I was a lost, confused and traumatized being that was continuing to fall into the grips of private drug usage, which I was hiding from almost everyone I knew.
Today, not only am I almost one year stable, I am always on my way to being weaned off buprenorphine within the next 6 to 12 months (12 months at a push. This medication is nothing like methadone whatsoever, there is no messing about with it and there is no one in the world who can use other opiates alongside of it due to it being a partial opiate agonist instead of a full agonist, like heroin, morphine, methadone and codeine are. It is also far easier to taper down this medication, but that's another story altogether
Thank you for sharing David's story with me. I am definitely becoming a paid subscriber after this. I am always so afraid to tell my own story, wondering what will people think of me, how badly will they judge and how vicious will the comments get. But again, because of your work, you have yet again inspired and reassured me that the world is not all bad. Can you pass on my most deepest congratulations to David for what he's done. It is the true meaning of a man, a father and the definition of what an Irish citizen should be. He is, without any doubt, an absolute hero.
Thank you again Gerry. Your articles are simply life-changing.
It’s a question I often ask myself when rifling through content on other platforms.
Why should I subscribe?
The West’s Awake is a writing platform dedicated to delivering content that many Irish, UK and global media platforms will not touch. There is a mix of personal, observational and topical content. Although not a traditional journalist in an established media sense, I have been publishing for 7 years now. In essence, I believe a journalist’s job is a simple one: To identify centres of power both established and emerging and hold them to account.
My columns are a mix of topical news events in Ireland and abroad and observational writing which is more personal. I believe in all the freedoms - speech, movement & the freedom to choose what goes into your own body. You may disagree with me or maybe in certain circumstances disagree but that is OK - I believe strongly in your right to do so and welcome constructive debate.
I question the wisdom of prevailing media narratives both in Ireland, US and the UK. Any statistics will be from authoritative sources and links provided to the sources where possible.
I endeavor to ensure that for 5 euro a month or for 39 euro per year the reader gets at least that much value for their money but hopefully a lot, lot more.
A lot of people try the free option for a period of time before committing their hard earned cash. I would encourage you to do this if you haven’t done so already.
Subscribe to West Awake to get full access to all of our content including newsletter, unedited audio interviews and website. We have regular posts for SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Thanks G. O’Neill
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