The Praying Plumber of Lisburn
Publisher: CrossReach Publications
You have only to glance at his round red face and his twinkling blue eyes to guess the place of his birth. And when he smiles and says, “Guid marnin’”, there is no doubt left. Tom Haire is Irish.Tom is not just somewhat Irish; he is so completely identified with the looks and ways and speech of the Emerald Isle that nothing on earth can ever change him. His soft, thick, almost fuzzy brogue reminds you of every Pat-and-Mike story you have ever heard, and the happy upside-down construction that often comes out when he talks sounds like the best of John M. Synge. It would take a keener ear than mine and greater literary skill than I possess to hear and reproduce in print the delightful if sometimes confusing dialect which is the only language Tom knows and in which he clothes his deeply spiritual and penetrating observations. So, except for an occasional Hibernicism in word or phrase which I consider too good to pass up, I shall make no attempt to copy his Irish speech. For the purposes of this sketch I shall let Tom speak in ordinary American English, though I admit we may lose something by so doing.It is not with Tom Haire the Irishman that we are concerned here, however, but with Brother Tom Haire, the servant of Christ. So fully has he lost himself in God that the text “Not I, but Christ,” actually seems to be a reality in his life. I think I have never heard him quote the text, but his whole being is a living exemplification of it. He appears to live the text each moment of each day.