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Flesh & Blood
Flesh & Blood RTÉ One, Tuesday 9.30pm

Brendan Lynch

The last in the present series of Flesh and Blood tells the story of village sergeant's son, journalist and author Brendan Lynch and the difficult relationship he had with his country and his mother.

Growing up in rural Ireland of the late 1940s Brendan Lynch found himself at odds with the politics and religion of his parents and his mother country.

"I really resented the power of the church and their influence which permeated every aspect of life particularly in a small village. As regards my mother the religion went hand in hand with her republican outlook."

As soon as he could he left his native Toomevara in north Tipperary for Dublin and a job in CIE. Enthralled by the city he was delighted with all it had to offer.
Free of the constraints of his small village he enjoyed the city life. But after a night out drinking realised how small this island can be;

"I had a letter from the mother; I heard you were seen in a pub - have you lost your  pioneer pin?"

In a time of social injustice and censorship Brendan felt England offered his only chance of a decent life.

"Bless me father , for I have thought of enjoying Edna O'Brien. It's a quare place where we can't even read our own writers. Instead of taking over the North, I think it's time they commandeered us. Then we'd have literature - and condoms and divorce! There was no hope; only England offered freedom and the opportunity of a decent life."

His father dead, two children, a divorce and a career as a sports journalist later Brendan returned to Ireland to care for his dying mother. Ironically the woman who drove him away brought him back to share the last precious days of her life.

The programme joins Brendan and his brother Colm (who now lives in Germany) as they tour the old village of Toomevara and the home they once shared.