TPQ: What are you currently reading?
Pádraic: Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe. Not a lot new in it but not bad.
TPQ: Best book you have ever read?
Pádraic: Bobby Sands: Nothing But An Unfinished Song by Denis O'Hearn. I read it in two days and when speaking with a few comrades they asked me what was the one thing that struck me about about the book. I had read a lot about the hunger strikers and knew some of them and also spoke with a lot of the lads who were in the Blocks during those terrible times so knew a fair bit about it. However, when I read about Bobby losing his fillings during the strike because his teeth were starting to decay it really hit me. I'm not a particularly emotional person but that got to me.
TPQ: Book most cherished as a child?
Pádraic: I read very few books as a child. My parents always encouraged us to read and the first I remember reading was Around the World in 80 Days. I enjoyed it.
TPQ: First book to really own you?
Pádraic: My nickname is Chopper and I got my nickname because I read the book of the same name. It was in a series we read as young teenagers such as Skinhead, Suedehead etc. All innocent stuff but I was nothing like the character in the book called Chopper.
TPQ: Favourite male author?
Pádraic: Fiction - John McGahern. Fact - Anthony Beevor. I'm not too fond of his politics but he has written some very good books on Stalingrad and the Spanish Civil War.
TPQ: Favourite female author?
Pádraic: Not being sexist but I've read very few books written by women. However, I met Liz Gillis a few months ago and she gave me a copy of her book called May 25 about the burning of The Custom House in 1921. I've dipped in and out of it for facts and figures.
|A Berlin Book Tower in memory of the Nazi book burning.
TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction?
Pádraic: I prefer fact but since I got a kindle and got many novels on it I've read a lot of fiction.
TPQ: Any book you simply refuse to read?
Pádraic: The one book I refuse to read is that written about Pádraic Pearse by Ruth Dudley-Edwards. I have read books by very unsavoury characters such as Eamon Collins and Seán O'Callaghan but Dudley-Edwards is a no-no.
TPQ: Any author you point blank refuse to read?
Pádraic: Ruth Dudley Edwards.
Pádraic: I really don't know. It would be for others to pick that book!
TPQ: Last book you gave as a present?
Pádraic: Bob Doyle's Brigadista: An Irishman's Fight Against Fascism. He survived the Spanish Civil War and I met him a few times.
TPQ: Book you would most like to see turned into a movie?
Pádraic: The Barracks by John McGahern.
TPQ: A "must read" you intend getting to before you die?
Pádraic: Not one in particular. Once I Really got into books people would talk about War and Peace or books by James Joyce. I tried but gave up and decided I've better things to do before I go …