2014 sees the centenary of the birth of a remarkable Clongownian, Doctor Aidan MacCarthy (OC 1930), from Castletownbere on the Beara peninsula in West Cork. He was remarkable for many reasons – as a doctor, as an Air Commodore in the RAF during the Second World War, as a survivor of the harshest of regimes in a number of Japanese prisoner-of-war camps and as a witness to the explosion of the atom bomb on Nagasaki, which brought about the Japanese surrender.
He was the senior Allied serviceman in Japan at the Japanese surrender. Japan presented its surrender initially to him before General MacArthur and his party arrived in Tokyo Bay several days after the end of the war. Later, MacCarthy practiced medicine in southern England. In 1979 he published his book A Doctor’s War, a truly remarkable read by a remarkable Clongownian.
A Doctor’s War was famously re-discovered by Pete McCarthy (no relation) when he was travelling around Ireland researching his own book MacCarthy’s Bar. He described it as ‘a truly wonderful read’ and wrote the Introduction to the 2004 edition. A documentary has just been completed on this famous Clongownian and will be shown on TV3 TONIGHT (Monday, 9thDecember) at 10.00
Gerry Lynch taught English at Clongowes from 1972 until May 2000). Since leaving teaching Gerry has been a contributor to RTE Radio’s ‘Sunday Miscellany’ and in 2002 won RTE radio’s P.J. O’Connor drama award. More recently his one-act play ‘According to Sydney’ ran for four weeks at the Mill Theatre, Dundrum. Gerry has written an article about Aidan McCarthy for ‘The Clongownian’ and it will be published in the 2014 issue to mark the centenary of the doctor’s birth.