The Lonely Runner: (or How to look after your Dad)
by Brian Duncan
Portmarnock, April 1983.

I have many stories I could tell about my beloved son Cyril.  He was just a special, magical, fun boy. He lived such a wonderful and full life and that, in itself, lead to many great stories. However, I will confine myself to just one story.  

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Brian & Cyril

It happened on a November night in 1983 when Cyril was six years of age. At that time, I used to go running every night after work in the local playing fields near our home in Portmarnock. The night in question was very dark, and in order to get to the fields I had to cross a busy main road and go down a side road into the playing fields. The fields were extremely dark but were dimly lit near the entrance. I used to run around the fields a number of times and return to the dimly lit entrance after completing each round.
On finishing my lap of the fields, I saw a young child waiting in the field near the entrance. I thought to myself ‘What sort of person would let a young child out into a dark field by himself on such a winter’s night?’  On getting closer to the child he held his hand out to me and I then realised it was my beloved son Cyril who was waiting for me and I was the parent of the child who ended up in the dark field that night.  

I took his hand and we jogged together for a little while. Cyril told me he got lonely for me in the house and he wanted to share the run with me. 

After completing our run together, Cyril and I went back to our house. I told him how much I loved him and he also said he loved me too, and again said he was lonely for me when I went for my jog.

I told him I knew he loved me, but I got him to promise not do such a dangerous thing again, crossing the main road on a dark winter’s night to get to the field. He promised me he wouldn’t and, after a cup of hot chocolate and a good night kiss from all of us, Cyril went safely to bed. 


Cyril, I loved you so much on that November night – as I did on every night since. I am very proud of you and of all the adventures you completed, the friends you made, the kindness you showed to so many people, and especially those vulnerable people you met on the margins of society throughout the world.

I know, like on that night long ago in November, you always loved me, Lek, Genevieve, Garmon and Pamela, and you know we always loved you.

However now, Cyril, it is I, your dad Brian, who is lonely for you and wants to go to you and hold your hand and go running around the field with you again. I also know you would love to do it with me again if it was possible.



The Cyril Duncan Siam Children's Foundation is a Registered Charity in Ireland
Reference Number: CHY 18363

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