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In honor of a new year, i have decided to only put up Pierce news since 2000. A more comprehensive archive will be done later.
 Here's the latest on the greatest

Evelyn’s ashes  March 24 2002
BOND'S BOY AGONY  March 21 2002

 Brave Martin's cancer battle
THERE'S nothing Martin Kehoe likes doing more than kicking a ball around, except perhaps pretending to be James Bond or Harry Potter.
But while Martin's life could be said to be that of an ordinary 15 year old, with the same dreams and aspirations as the rest, the past few years have set the brave boy apart during his unrelenting struggle against cancer.
Martin's family have travelled the roller coaster with him, sharing both the highs and lows, the days and weeks in hospital, the heartbreak, upheaval and unremitting and sometimes all-consuming nature of living with illness in their midst.
Back in 1996, the first symptoms appeared.
'I started feeling weak in my legs,' said Martin, from Crossing Gates, Bridgetown.
His parents Michael and Catherine Kehoe took him to Wexford General Hospital and then on to Beaumont, where their worst fears were confirmed.
'They found a tumour in the back of my head.'
Martin talks about it in a matter of fact way now, but at the time he remembers the upheaval as his parents broke the terrible news to him.
'My parents were very upset. So was I, but I didn't really understand. I didn't really know what it was.'
'I had to go to chemo therapy, it was horrible. It makes you fierce sick and weak and you get diarrhoea and things like that.
'I had a scan at the end of 12 weeks and the result were good. I was elated, the tumour had gone.'
Martin said he led what he described as a normal enough life for the next couple of years, but the spectre was to come back to haunt him. 'It returned, when did it return Mam?' he asked Catherine.
'It was in 2000, it returned in 2000,' he said after receiving confirmation from his much-loved mam.
More 'horrible' chemo followed, and 'a new kind of radio therapy', but while the side effects were similarly debilitating as the the first time around, the second tumour disappeared.
The past 12 months have been less traumatic than the previous. Martin has been back to hospital and in fact is back there now, but the frequency of his hospital visits have lessened.
Martin has a brother Joseph, aged 13, and two sisters, Rebecca, 12, and Christina, 10.
'They don't like it when I go to hospital,' he said.
Through the Irish Cancer Society and the Canteen support group for children with cancer, he recently met his hero, Pierce Brosnan, at Ardmore Studios, in Bray.
'Two of us were picked out, it was great,' said Martin, who gets a great kick out of seeing Brosnan playing 007 on his Playstation, now that he's met Bond in the flesh.
Martin still plays soccer too. 'I have a weak right leg, but I can still play a little'.
His favourite reads are his Playstation magazines and Harry Potter, although he hasn't been to see the film. 'It's an exciting story and can you imagine having a magic broom to fly around on?'
Martin's father Michael said the family was devastated when the tumour was diagnosed.
'It's hard to describe. You see it happening to other people, but when it comes to yourself it's very hard.'
He vividly recalls the day, he and Catherine told Martin he has a tumor. 'It was hard, very hard. It's something that will never leave my mind.'
Michael said Martin, was 'getting on great now'
'The Irish Cancer Society has offered great support. They are always there.'
Michael said he hoped Martin would be able to come home soon, but with his white cells count a little bit low, his son was open to infection.
'It's very difficult for both of us. Martin ends up in hospital, and we have three other kids at home. But things are better than they were. For the last while it hasn't been so bad.
'My wife Catherine is in here with Martin all the time and it's difficult on the other children.
'They miss their mum as well and not a day goes past without them asking when's she going to be home with him?'
By David Tucker

BOND star Pierce Brosnan was keeping a bedside vigil yesterday as his teenage son battled a potentially life-threatening illness.
Sean Brosnan, 18, suffered an internal rip to his gut while working out at his school gym.
Staff called an ambulance and doctors admitted him to intensive care after finding he had an obstruction of the small intestine and peritonitis.
Last night, Sean was recovering at Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton, Somerset, after undergoing surgery.
Pierce is believed to have left filming of the new Bond movie Die Another Day at Pinewood Studios to be with his son.
A spokeswoman for the actor said: "Sean has undergone surgery and is now doing well. We have no further comment to make."
It is believed Sean's injury is connected to a horrific car crash in Malibu, California, two years ago, in which he cheated death.
He was taken by air ambulance to a Los Angeles hospital and underwent six hours of surgery for spinal injuries and fractures.
It was months before he could walk again and he has since undergone physiotherapy.
But perforation or rupture of an abdominal organ can lead to peritonitis, where bacteria can cause an infection leading to severe abdominal pain.Sean collapsed in agony last Wednesday afternoon at the £18,000-a-year Millfield School in Street, Somerset.
A school pal added: "He's always been very keen on working out and building up his muscles, especially since the accident in America after which he had to undergo fairly serious rehabilitation.
"It was while he was pumping iron in the school gym that he put too much strain on his stomach and literally suffered an internal rip to his gut."
A former pupil at Millfield said: "He has always said that he has never really felt he properly recovered from his crash injuries.
"Sean was in intensive care at first and needed surgery for the problem. He'll be there another a couple of weeks."
In December 2000, Sean was suspended from Millfield after beating up a 16-year-old boy.
The victim suffered a split ear and severe bruising to his face in the attack.
Sean's mother, Cassandra Harris, died from ovarian cancer in 1991.
Brosnan raised Sean and his stepchildren, Christopher and Charlotte.
The actor delayed his second marriage, to Shaye Smith, while Sean recovered from his crash injuries.

 Brosnan's son stops filming on Bond...
The Irish actor Pierce Brosnan has been forced to take a break in filming the new Bond movie after is son Sean had an accident in school and was rushed to the hospital.
Sean is currently attending a private school in Somerset in England where over the past few days he hurt him self in the school gym and was rushed to hospital.
The reason was an obstruction of the small intestine and peritonitis which could have been potentially dangerous had the actors son not under gone surgery.
Luckily Brosnan was only a few hours away on the set of the new Bond movie Die Another Day in England's world famous Pinewood studious.
Last year the actor was forced to quit filming the Tailor of Panama in Ireland when Sean was involved in a car accident.
Speaking to the press a spokesperson for the actor said, "Sean has undergone surgery and is now doing well. We have no further comment to make."

 Brosnan kid coma drama

THE son of James Bond star Pierce Brosnan cheated death after slumping unconscious, it emerged last night.
Troubled Chris Brosnan, 29, lapsed into a coma at a nightclub owner’s home.

A 999 crew rushed him to hospital in a “serious condition” — but he is now recovering. The news stunned his 48-year-old dad, who last week was at the hospital bedside of younger son Sean.

Chris had spent the evening at trendy China Whites in London’s West End, before returning to the flat with one of the club’s owners.
Just before 6am he collapsed. Paramedics took him to St Mary’s hospital, Paddington, where he was revived and discharged later that day. A source said last night: “It was a touch and go thing and Chris nearly died. He was a very lucky young man.”
Police were called and searched the flat. They are taking no further action.
Film producer Chris is the son of Pierce’s late wife Cassandra Harris.
Pierce adopted him and sister Charlotte before Cassandra died of ovarian cancer in 1991, aged 39.
In 1996, Chris was fined £1,000 for drink-driving in America. The next year he served seven months at London’s Wormwood Scrubs for driving three times over the limit.

But last year he checked into rehab weeks after Pierce wed long-term love Keely Shaye Smith, 37.
At the time a pal said: “Chris is determined to go on with life without drugs and booze.”
Pierce’s son Sean, 18, the actor’s only child with Cassandra, has also given him cause for concern.
In April 2000 Sean underwent six hours of surgery on serious injuries from a road accident in Malibu.
That December he was suspended from his posh British public school after attacking another pupil.
Last week Pierce — filming the new 007 movie Die Another Day at Pinewood, Herts — spent several days at Sean’s hospital bedside after he suffered a stomach injury while working out in the gym.
 Brosnan's stepson in coma
The stepson of James Bond star Pierce Brosnan was treated by paramedics after lapsing into a coma after a night out in the West End.
Chris Brosnan, 29, was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington but was discharged later that day.
The collapse comes a week after the actor's younger son, Sean, was in hospital with a serious gym injury.
 Evelyn’s ashes

Vicky Allan

SHE was only eight years old, but Evelyn Doyle knew what was happening. It was 1953 and standing in a long room at High Park convent, one of Dublin’s industrial schools, she watched her Daddy walk away. He didn’t say a word, didn’t even look round, but she knew he was crying. She could see his shoulders shaking. She’d never seen him cry before. Daddies don’t cry, do they? "Daddy, don’t leave me!," she remembers screaming. "Come back! Please don’t leave me!"

In the course of just one week Evelyn’s world had fallen apart. Her mother had left her, she had been separated from her five younger brothers, and now her father, Desmond, was walking away too. Evelyn did not know it then but she was only at the beginning of a series of events that would change Irish legal history, lead her to Scotland and a six-figure book-deal and inspire a new film starring Pierce Brosnan, called Evelyn.

It all started on Boxing Day when her mother stepped over her on the way out of the front door. "Mind the babbies," she said. "I’m going for the messages." Maybe it was the fact that the bags she was carrying were already full, maybe it was just instinct but Evelyn sensed her mammy was not coming back. Looking back now, nearly 50 years on, she remembers vividly the feeling of desperation: "I just knew I had to go after her, and I went, running. I chased right after her but I never caught her. She’d got on a bus. Then I ran home and told Daddy she’d gone. He said: ‘What do you mean, gone?’"

Doyle searched everywhere for his wife but Mammy was not coming back. She had run off with a cousin and, as Evelyn would discover as an adult, the only person who was surprised by news of the affair was her father. He was distraught and emotionally shattered. Scraping a living together as a painter-decorator and completely unable to cope with children on his own, Doyle agreed to hand the care of his children over to the now infamous industrial schools. Run by the Catholic church, these were home to the lost, the troublemakers, the juvenile delinquents and the orphans. Most notoriously, as in the cases of St Joseph’s and Artane, they have been exposed as harsh, brutal places, where sexual and physical abuse were commonplace. "The big fear was being sent to the Magdalens," Evelyn says, remembering the dreaded names even now. "They were the places you would be sent if you were pregnant or you were destitute, like a workhouse but one step up."

In the event, Evelyn was sent to High Park, her brothers to schools 200 miles away in Kilkenny. She recalls seeing them for the last time, looking out of the back window of a car as they were driven away and especially remembers the oldest, Noel. "Daddy remembered it too," she says. "In later life he only ever made one comment about what happened. He said to me: ‘I looked into his eyes and I knew I’d broken him.’ I think I knew what he meant."

Evelyn wouldn’t see her brothers for another two years, and by then the two youngest would no longer recognise her - they didn’t even know they had a sister. After her father left, the first few days in the convent were a shock. "It was foreign, strange. I worried about what was happening to my brothers. And then there was all these new things going on, like getting scrubbed in the bath by the nuns. I remember the dormitory which reminded me of a hospital and having scarlet fever. Everybody seemed to know what they were doing, but I didn’t. So I just clung on to this girl, Elisabeth, and all the time I was thinking that maybe Daddy would come back, that he’d get to the end of the drive and say I can’t do this."

Doyle didn’t return for eight months. Desperately in need of work, he went to England and tried to come to terms with his loss. As the weeks turned into months, Evelyn tried to adapt to her new life. Gradually, she began to like the cleanliness of the convent, its rhythm, its order - it was after all a comfort after the chaos and dirt of the Doyle home in Dublin’s impoverished Fatima Mansions housing scheme. She made friends and learned new skills. There were jobs on the farm, days out to the beach, laundry baskets full of sand-peppered sandwiches. "The convent put order in my life. It let me be a child."

Compared to many industrial schools, the convent was not a bad place. It would have been bearable if Evelyn had not missed her family so much. She remembers her Mammy came to visit her once. "I was hostile, but she’d brought me a doll and roller-skates and you can buy a child, can’t you? Every time I hear ‘The Anniversary Waltz’ it reminds me of the day she left again, because she played that over and over in a booth in the cafe. I desperately wanted her to come back so we could all be together. I thought it could be happily ever after."

Meanwhile, she pined for her father. Doyle had become her world, her protector. She believed he would never leave her languishing there for long. When he did return after those eight months she flung her arms around him. This was it, Evelyn recalls thinking, everything would go back to how it used to be; they would go rabbiting in the Phoenix Park, take trips in the car and visit the strawberry beds. Finally she would be with her brothers again. Because of the wording of an Irish law, however, that was not to be. Because of the use of the word ‘parents’ rather than ‘parent’, Doyle was prohibited from taking his own children out of care and looking after them himself. In order to do so, he needed his wife’s consent but she had disappeared again. It was a question, literally, of the letter of the law. And no one, not even the Minister of Education was prepared to budge on the matter.

"Some people have said to me that it’s amazing that the state could behave like that. But the church and the state were extremely powerful in Ireland at the time. It was in the interests of the church to keep children like us there, because they had a steady supply of nuns and priests," explains Evelyn.

But Desmond Doyle was not a man to give up easily. Evelyn remembers hearing her father in the office with the nuns that first day he came back. "I was outside the door and he was shouting. ‘She’s my daughter,’ he was saying. ‘You can’t keep her you old bitch.’ I was standing there absolutely petrified with fright, worrying about his soul." Come what may, Doyle was determined to get his children back. He had invited a ‘housekeeper’ from England to return with him to Dublin. Actually she was a ‘new mammy’, called Jessie and they had plans. In the next year Doyle would explore all avenues, approach lawyers, even study the constitution himself. Evelyn always knew he would fight. She had faith in him. But then, wasn’t she just like all the other girls who insisted that their mammy and daddy were coming for them? "I remember one of the girls used to sing ‘O My Papa’. She always said her daddy was going to come for her, but she had been there since she was two. Still I knew that my Daddy would come. I knew he wasn’t going to leave us there."

Decades later, sitting at his bedside in a Scottish hospice, Evelyn knew her father was dying. He knew it too, he’d accepted it and was at peace with it. But there was something about him that troubled his daughter: he looked a little tearful. "What’s wrong dad?" she asked.

"It’s just been such a waste," he said.


"My life. I’ve done nothing. I’ve wasted my life."

"No you haven’t, Dad," she replied. "You’ve touched thousands of lives." Those were his last words to his daughter. One night about a year later Evelyn was sitting thinking about all the things that had happened and she decided to get out her tape recorder. She would put down what she remembered of "those days when he did all that wonderful stuff."

Desmond Doyle had not wasted his life. In the 16 months that followed his return to Ireland, he fought a battle that would capture the imagination of the Irish public and its media. He became a hero. Here was a man so determined to get his own children back that he was willing to take on the church and state, even take his case to the supreme court to push a change in the law itself.

Support quickly snowballed. First he approached lawyer Michael Beattie, who took the case to American barrister Nick Barron, who bolted straight through the barrister’s chambers and came back with Tom Connolly - one of the most senior barristers in Ireland and a man who loved a good fight. Crucial to the case, though, was Doyle and his own father’s hard graft in the library. In studying the constitution, the men discovered that a child also had rights: the right to choose which parent they lived with. This was just the leverage they needed to work with. If they could by-pass the original law, perhaps they were in with a chance.

But it would require Evelyn’s co-operation. She would have to be willing to say when interviewed by the judges that she really wanted to live with her ‘new mammy’, and that was not true - she did not want some replacement mammy. "I knew what I was supposed to say. But you’ve got five wise justices and they’re not idiots. The next day they said they were going to disregard my wishes because they weren’t convinced I hadn’t been influenced. Then my father and his team thought, ‘We’ve lost it, we’ve lost it.’"

At this stage in the story, Evelyn is vague about the subsequent sequence of events. "Read the book," she says laughing, "we’ve got to leave a bit of mystery." But the fact remains that in the following days, Doyle triumphantly won custody of his daughter and the historic case opened the gates for hundreds of children, including Evelyn’s brothers, to return to their parents. It is the climax of Evelyn, a memoir she has written at lightning speed in the last 10 weeks. A carefully-printed out draft of it sits on the table in her home in Edinburgh. The detail and the clarity of her memories are astonishing.

It is a story Evelyn has kept under wraps for the last few years. A former police officer with the Lothian and Borders force, at first Evelyn thought the material might make a play for television. She approached someone at the BBC who was willing to write it. Out of the blue five years later, she received a phone call from Pierce Brosnan’s production company. Brosnan, himself a father and a former pupil at an industrial school, had been stirred by the story of a man he regarded as ‘a hero’. It had been touted to him by the BBC journalist. "At first I was angry," says Evelyn. She was excited about the
prospect of it being turned into a film but felt as if the story had been taken away. Incorrectly, it had her grandfather dropping dead while singing ‘Danny Boy’ in a pub. "He’d cut his throat before he’d sing ‘Danny Boy’. My grandad was a very refined, well-educated gentleman," she says. While the movie was clearly one of integrity, it wasn’t the absolute truth. Despite starting and abandoning legal proceedings, Evelyn knew what she had to do: "I thought I’d better write the book."

Now she is on good terms with Brosnan’s team. The actor phoned several times during filming, asking, for example, if her Daddy smoked. "Hope you don’t mind me calling?" he said. "Pierce," said Evelyn, "there’re about five million women in this world who would probably sell their children for you to phone." She visited the set in Ireland and saw a section of the film. "I looked at it and you know I broke into tears because Pierce Brosnan was my father. He’d managed to get his mannerisms, his tone of voice, the expressions on his face and he’d only phoned me about twice to ask me about him. One of my brothers was with me and he said, ‘Jesus, just like the old fella.’"

It is easy to see why Brosnan was seduced by Doyle. The more you hear about ‘the old fella’, the more complex he seems. "A typical old-fashioned chauvinist husband," says Evelyn. "You know, your tea to be on the table and you do what I say because I’m master of this house. None of us were disrespectful to him. Even when we were adults we didn’t dare. He could be vicious, very formidable." Yet, at the same time he was also a brilliant musician, sentimental, loyal, devoted to his family and to his dog. The kind of flawed hero that Hollywood loves. "You know," says Evelyn, "it’s not like he wanted to be a hero. He was a very private man. I mean he was getting all this praise, but he didn’t think he was being particularly brave. He just wanted his children back."

Evelyn didn’t see her mother for the rest of her childhood. The family moved to Manchester and at 21, Evelyn decided to trace her mother and found her living in Scotland. "Well we must catch up on the gossip," was the first thing she said. So brutally casual. Then her mother took her back to her home and introduced her to her new family. "This is Evelyn," she said, "I used to look after her in Ireland."

She never contacted her again. To her, Jessie, the ‘housekeeper’ became her mother, and right up till her death she treated her as such, even nursing her towards the end. "It wasn’t until I had my own son," says Evelyn, "that I realised the enormity of what my mother had done, walking out on her children and leaving us to our fate. In those days a lot of women had very hard marriages, but if she really, really had to go I think she should have found a way to take us with her," she says.

"Of course, I wouldn’t have gone with her. I would have stayed with my Daddy."

Evelyn by Evelyn Doyle is published in August by Orion