The Dún Laoghaire Gateway Club has published a book of stories and paintings by club members.


The Gateway Club which meets weekly in Dún Laoghaire is organised by City Gate, a service of the St John of God Brothers. Club members are young adults who attended special schools and/or who work in supported employment. As well as recreational and social pastimes, members are encouraged to take part in educational projects. Liz Dalton of the Dún Laoghaire Adult Literacy Programme assisted club facilitators Kathleen Troy and Br Martin to set up a local literacy programme which would be fun as well as educational. During the Jubilee Year, the club undertook a project to put together a book of stories, experiences and artwork. A second project involved photography. Eileen Cheevers of Spectra supplied cameras for everyone and she was on hand to judge the results.

We asked the Gateway authors and compilers if Frontline could print extracts from the book Everybody has a story to tell. Only a brief sample is given here, in our limited space. (For example, Alan Smyth’s vivid imagination inspired a story entitled ‘The werewolf’, but it was both too long and too gruesome for our readers!) Well done–to all the writers, photographers and artists.


A SONG BY DEIRDRE O’BRIEN (with music by Cynthia Byrne)

No matter how far we travel,

We’ll stick together,

And our differences unravel,

We’ll always be inside each other’s hearts,

And nothing can tear us apart,

For you are my special friend, and this feeling will never end.

Oh, la, la, Monkey and me.

You come from a special land,

With a loving heart,

And a helping hand,

With a special ability to love,

Your heart is warm and soft as a glove,

For you’re only there for me,

A secret that others can’t see,

Oh, la, la, Monkey and me.

Things have never been the same

Since the day that I met you,

You lit up my life, and you made me feel good,

And I never want to lose you.

I dream of you most every night,

And your loving face

Makes the stars shine bright,

And you are always there to comfort me,

Whenever a nightmare frightens me,

As long as my life may be,

You’ll always be part of me,

Oh, la, la, Monkey and me.



The only thing that really makes me happy is meeting other people and making new friends. New people are always interesting to talk to.

At my work in the Royal Marine Hotel I meet people from all around the world. I sometimes meet famous actors and singers. I even had my photo taken with Robbie Coltraine.

But nothing is as great as a chance meeting with friends. I love to discover what they have been doing since we last met and I hope they are interested in the news I have.

I enjoy the reading class and working with friends in trying to improve my reading skills and I hope the friends I have made will be friends for a long time.



My dog’s name is Rocky and he is called after a film called ‘Rocky’ which is about a boxer. He was born on the 29th of August 1988. In a dog’s life he is now old. Twelve years for a dog is 84 for a person. My dog is black with white underneath and his legs are black and white. I got him when I was eighteen. I got him from a friend of my mum’s sister. The dog’s mum was a Jack Russell and the dad was a Labrador. She had nine pups–five females and three male, and so I took a male. I lifted it up and it was small and cute and fitted in the palm of my hand.


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