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Keeping the NHS Running

My father died when I was eight. He had worked on the building of Heathrow Airport. I did my Inter Cert and passed, but to go to the next stage you had to have a uniform and we couldn't afford one. In Ireland, you could get a good job in Woolworth's, but you had to pay to get in - £60! And you couldn't be a nurse unless you were able to pay your way.

I was 16 when a friend and I decided to go to …