Dropping in on Uncle Jack at Castle Leslie

Castle Leslie, Ireland

The view of Castle Leslie on our arrival. Photo by David Lansing.

We’ve just arrived at Castle Leslie, situated on the banks of Glaslough, County Monaghan, which is where Paul McCartney married that dreadful woman Heather “Take-The-Money-and-Run” Mills almost a decade ago. But that’s not why we’re here. The daughter of some friends of ours was married here not too long ago and when they heard we would be traveling around Ireland they said we really should stay a night at Castle Leslie. So we are.

Later this afternoon we’re going to get a tour of the castle by the owner himself, Sir John Leslie (who everyone around here calls Uncle Jack). I’ve heard he’s quite the character. For one thing he’s damn near a hundred years old. Must be rather sprite to be giving tours of his castle at that age.

They’ve left a copy of his memoir in our room, “Never a Dull Moment,” which I fully intend to read. Just not right now. Here’s what the flyplate says: “Sir John Leslie, born a New Yorker in 1916, came to Ireland at the tender age of three. This is the story of his adventures across two continents.”

What adventures might those be? Well for one, he was a captain of the Irish Guards during WWII and spent five years in a German P.O.W. camp. That should be interesting reading. And then his bio says this: “At the ripe young age of 78 he returned to Ireland to live year-round in his family home, Castle Leslie…Where, just to keep things interesting, he took up night clubbing, to ‘shake up his liver,’ even going to Ibiza for his 85th birthday.”

A man after my own heart. I can’t wait to meet him.

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