The Tom McDonald Story
I was brought up in a rural farming community in Bushmills. As was the case with many of the young boys in the area, I helped farmers during hay season or with their livestock.
Those idyllic surroundings were in stark contrast to life within the four walls of my parents’ dysfunctional home. Both of my parents were alcoholics who drank morning, noon, and night. I also endured physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse. When I was only a young child, mum and dad thought it good to get me to smoke and drink with them as we sat in our hopeless surroundings.
Absences from school were frequent because I was often very drunk or severely beaten up. Before every swimming class, I came ready with an excuse so that I would not have to undress in front of teachers. To say that I did not have the best of upbringings is an understatement…