“Got your mind set on a dream, you can get it though how hard it may seem.”

Jimmy Cliff

I hadn’t listened to Jimmy Cliff for a while and nearly forgotten about the movie and the album that made him famous: The Harder They Come. The movie and the song are a bit revolutionary from today’s perspective, looking back the nearly fifty years to when it was first published (1972).

Well, they tell me of a pie up in the sky
Waiting for me when I die
But between the day you’re born and when you die
They never seem to hear even your cry

I don’t want to make it more complicated than it is, but, to be honest, I went back to Jimmy’s album looking for another song, Many Rivers to Cross.

Many rivers to cross
And it’s only my will that keeps me alive
I’ve been licked, washed up for years
And I merely survive because of my pride

Much less revolutionary, a bit more sentimental and downtrodden. – Anyways.

Last week was a great week. On Tuesday morning, a journalist and camera man from Nuacht, the Irish-language news programme, came into An Saol and put a news clip together, that was shown the same day on RTE One, Ireland’s main TV Channel, and on TG4, Ireland’s Irish-language TV Channel. – Here is the clip, with subtitles supplied by us.


When the clip was done, we learned that Peadar, the presenter, knows Pádraig from way back before the accident. I don’t know why, but it hit a nerve, memory, visions, and produced a deep sadness. There are moments that can hit hard, even when I’m full of energy, positivity, and pride.

And then, a few days later, a therapist working with Pádraig, had the idea to try out something new. Take 1.


As you can see, Pádraig responded to the challenge.

And then he showed us that he is up to take on the game. Take 2.


I tried it myself and, while I won’t show you the video (I have some pride left), I can tell you that it didn’t go as well for me as it did for Pádraig.

Next Wednesday is St Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s National Holiday.

I will never forget the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day when we decorated Pádraig’s hospital room in Hamburg and turned the ward green. Those were uncertain, threatening times. Nobody knew back then whether Pádraig would ever be able to eat, drink, smell, taste, stand, understand, see, read, communicate, make decisions for himself or be able to get out to meet his friends or watch movies and enjoy concerts, never mind travel, ever again.

How far he has come. He even inspired the An Saol Foundation and its NeuroRehab Day Centre in Santry, now welcoming clients for more than a year – and that in these difficult COVID times.

As most other things these day, the 2021 Festival will be mostly virtual (see the festival’s website).

We’ve got our minds set on a dream,
and we can get it though how hard it may seem.

We still have many rivers to cross. We will. Because we’re Dreamboaters.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!