'By a strange coincidence we had named her after Doreen's deceased sister.'

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'By a strange coincidence we had named her after Doreen's deceased sister.'


Tom describes the other two important women in his life, his wife and his baby daughter, who died shortly after birth.


Tom Sutton


Trinity College Dublin




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Tom Sutton

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Glengormley, Co. Antrim

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The next female in my life was Doreen, my girlfriend and subsequent wife. She was brought up with similar standards to mine and, even when we were dating, we both had a set time to be home at night, unless both our parents knew of any special event we were going to, which finished at a later time. Her mother had been a school teacher and her father a headmaster plus an organist and church choirmaster. Doreen was especially precious to her parents as their eldest daughter, Elsa, died at ten years of age, when Doreen was just fifteen months old. Having lost their other daughter, I am sure her parents would have liked someone better than an apprentice to be her suitor. However if that was the case in due course they accepted me and we were married on 3rd August, 1949. Happiness prevailed but then, on 3rd June, 1951, the saddest day of our lives came, when our first dear little baby daughter Elsa died at three months of age. By a strange coincidence we had named her after Doreen's deceased sister. This little infant, Elsa, is the third female in my life. Her death completely changed both the life of Doreen and myself and directly led to us owing our own business. Tribute must be paid to Doreen for being the initial entrepreneur and indeed she continued to play a large working part in the other businesses we had. I should say that the years have flown past and Doreen and I are now approaching sixty-two years of marriage and have known each other for over seventy years.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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