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Dr. Slotover Remembers The Rising

Memories of a life that began with recalling Easter Monday 1916 ...

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4.1/5 (34 ratings)

Dr. Slotover Remembers The Rising

Dr. Max Leonard Slotover was born in 1912.

On the morning of Easter Monday 1916, he was walking with his father in St. Stephen's Green, Dublin when they were stopped by a man in a trenchcoat with a gun; they were told they couldn't go home to nearby Camden St. and Leonard was separated from his mother for a night.

On another occasion, his father was arrested for carrying a round loaf of rye bread; British soldiers thought it was a bomb and were only convinced when they put it in a bucket of water and stabbed it with their bayonets.

Leonard went on to become a medical student in Dublin - he tells of one occasion when a car he was driving got stuck in tram tracks and a quick-thinking passenger saved his life. His student days included him being brought out by a lecturer who showed him "how to drink".

To help pay his way, Leonard had several part-time jobs, including selling Sweeps tickets and as a bit actor in The Gate where he shared the stage with Cyril Cusack and Orson Welles.

When he qualified as a doctor, Leonard went to work in a field hospital in North Africa.

There the Army commandeered a local convent but allowed the nuns to continue to use the basement. Every week, the nuns returned to the convent to retrieve items from the basement - the medics discovered that the basement was a champagne cellar and the nuns were picking up a few bottles every weekend.

Leonard qualified as an obstetrician but realised that he would never make enough money to 'set up' his family. So, he retired as a doctor and became a businessman, running a chain of furniture stores.

He is 99 in June and says he's in pretty good health - playing golf once or twice a week.

Watch a draft edit of a video featuring Dr. Slotover

(A short Irish radio documentary from RTE Ireland)

The Curious Ear is produced by Ronan Kelly

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