Published in The Irish Examiner, September 27, 2002
IN THE SUMMER OF 1973, I drifted off to sleep on a cold concrete slab, listening to a scratchy Oriental sing-song melody. Part of 72 hours in a mock POW camp in Colorado courtesy of Commandant Nguyen Tan Dong.
In the summer of 2002, I slipped in and out of sleep atop a well-used mattress pad on a cold concrete floor, listening to a screeching pop music melody. Part of one night in Mount Joy Prison, courtesy of Chief Officer Egan.
The two episodes have interesting parallels. As a POW in '73, I was blindfolded inside a small cage because I refused to sign papers. Inside The Joy, I stared drowsy at a blue-white fluorescent ceiling because I didn't have proper papers at Dublin Airport.