Today we met Defence Forces Veteran Paddy McGowan and his good friend James M Harpur who together wrote and published a book of 50 short stories and would like to donate some of the sales to help ONE’s initiatives for other veterans less fortunate.

Written by Paddy McGowan and James M Harpur and edited by Barry Vickers LL.B, and first published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing in 2014. 189 Pages, with large typesetting – Price €10.00 +P&P

Paddy McGowan served in 2 Garrison Ordnance Company, he was well sought after for his welding skills, and a character of note. James is a retired civil servant and together they have produced a masterpiece of tales, that are short and simple, some with a great punchline – most of the 50 short stories are military-related.

Macker and Harpur, was to say the least, an unlikely association of authors. Macker was forward, provocative and a master orator, with razor-sharp wit and timing while Harpur himself was laid back to the point of falling over. Nevertheless, with the common denominator of art, Macker’s witty narrative, with his killer punch lines, became a reality. Once a week at the art class in the Coolock Library a written couple of foolscap pages were presented without fail over fifty weeks and culminated in this hilarious informative slice of Irish army life in the sixties and seventies.

“None of the names of the people are genuine and some of the events have been changed to protect the guilty.”

Harpur’s dogged determination collected the narratives, streamlined and dusted them off and the book finally saw daylight through the magic of the internet and balanced and astute wizardry of the publisher Mr. Barry Vickers.

The book can be purchased from Amazon or for a signed copy with a kind donation made to ONE contact James M Harpur, on WhatsApp 086 810 6259 or email

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