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Memoirs of an Irish journalist working in the American south: Tennessee TV tales

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05.12.2018

I knew my time was ending; visa issues, a dividing America, protests, and uprisings, the beginning of the Trump campaign for president all contributing, coupled with a sadness that, as an immigrant, I only got to come home once a year to Galway and see my parents.

The US I came to live in back in 2012 changed rapidly until I bid farewell in October 2015. It both intrigued and concerned me as a journalist, an immigrant and an Irishman overseas.

On my return to Ireland, I met with Dr. Niall McElwee of Book Hub Publishing from Athenry and he explained that the memories alone could make an interesting publication.

Over the next month, I will publish the final three excerpts from the book, it is called "Through Irish Eyes, a Personal and Journalistic Journey" and welcome your views, comments and input.

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This segment is about a record-breaking Marijuana bust I covered while in Tennessee.

Excerpt from "Through Irish Eyes":

Sometimes news breaks and you by choice, luck or misfortune are the first one there.

It's 8am on a warm July morning. My alarm goes off at 8:44 and again at 8:55. It’s that morning phase where you are deciding on returning to sleep or just lie there semi conscious. Your bladder is hammering away, demanding you get up and visit the toilet, yet you roll around wrapping yourself into a blanketed cocoon and pretend the morning is yours and the toilet can wait.

A wandering hiker inside a forest in middle Tennessee discovers 50 miles away 37,000 marijuana plants.

Your toilet break morphs into a shower; shave and a snatch of a banana and off you go down to the woods because we are in for a big surprise. Driving at speed, in large vehicles with good visibility fueled by adrenaline leaves road a black and grey blur, time reaches that odd........

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