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when my father went senile, the Irish state put him in a home and told me to clear his Dalkey house.

One Saturday afternoon, I went to empty his garage. The interior was lit by a 20-watt light bulb. He put these horrible bulbs all over his house when he got Alzheimer’s.

I opened the garage doors to let in the sunshine: that was when I noticed the picture frames, along the wall, containing reproductions of Manet and Van Gogh. There was also a hideous reproduction of the Mona Lisa I had never seen before. I would keep the frame,…

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