The fact that Liam had a job as a porter in this hospital would indicate that something was amiss. Veronica herself is a journalist and there are indications throughout the novel that the other siblings all did well, went to college, and had careers which reflected that. Liam appears to have fallen through the cracks, he went to England at a young age to work, as far away from his past as he could get. He earned enough to keep body and soul together and drank what was left. He liked his work and we can imagine he was that cheerful type of hospital porter who wheels patients to and from operating rooms chatting to them and making them smile. A facade to cover the aching void inside him. The Hampstead Royal Free is a large public teaching hospital in London, an easy place to get lost in - to achieve anonymity.