A thirty four year old Dungiven man has opened his soul to the Ulster Fry, revealing the living hell that the circumstances of his birth created.
Joel McCafferty is tired of being hounded for not closing doors behind him. We met up with him in a field where he told us his battle to get his non-closure of doors recognized as a medical condition.
“I’m proud to have been born in a field,” said a defiant McCafferty “My ma ran out of petrol driving to the hospital, so pulled in to a field and delivered me herself. No mean feat in a dark, dung covered meadow.”
McCafferty suffers from a lack of self-confidence after being constantly reminded of his fieldly roots. “Most people who know me accept me for who I am but meeting new people is difficult – it’s especially embarrassing for ladies I bring home from the disco…”
“They look at me like I’m a serial killer when they see I’ve no internal doors. It’d be the opposite if that was the case – I’d probably have more doors with locks and that.”
Being born in a field is taboo in modern Ireland as it evokes connotations with rural poverty. However, until the 1950s field births were a regular occurrence – so regular, in fact, that cows and sheep became accustomed to helping by boiling water and getting clean towels ready.
In 2004, Joel was humiliated out of his hometown after being caught “having a sit down visit” with the door open in the pub. It was a bank holiday and the place was packed for a Guns N’ Roses tribute band from Newry.
“Normally I’m sure to poo before I go out but for some reason that day it wasn’t coming. I shoulda just had a smoke and a coffee on the bog to help things but I’d a coort arranged and was late. Love does that to you.”
Once word of his disgrace got out, all hope of a local wife evaporated, and Joel moved to Magherafelt where he has now set up a support group for fellow strugglers.
“The Magherafelt Field Birth Society is very inclusive,” he told us, “if any one shares this problem, our door is always open.”