The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, December 13, 2008


(From the Heelers Diaries Tues 21st March 2006.)

How could I ever tell anyone to trust in God unless I had lived these moments?
In the heart of oppression I choose now to disregard the power of the oppressor.
The job with the Leinster Louser will finish soon.
I'm considering the alternatives.
Not inclined to break free of one set of manacles only to immediately snap shut another set around my ankles.
Or wherever it is manacles are customarily snapped shut.

The beauty of everyday life bold traveller from the future.
To believe in and savour this beauty when the oppressor is at his height.
Here is the key.


You will not hear the following analysis on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, the BBpC, or Skybollah. You will not read it in Time magazine, Newsweak, the Washington Compost, etc etc.

Governor Rod Blagojevich is blatantly, arrogantly and arrantly corrupt.
He is a key player in an endemically corrupt section of the Democratic Party which has manipulated power in Illinois and surrounding areas for seventy years.
The corruption of the Democratic Party in Illinois involves an alliance with corrupt elements in local manufacturing trade unions and national trade union organisations.
The unions are capable of helping the corrupt segment of the Democratic Party which is centred in Illinois, to project its power outwards.

Let me be clear.
The Democratic Party of the United States is not corrupt.
The Democratic Party's political and managerial organisation in Illinois is hugely corrupt.
I wish to assert that the Democratic Party in Illinois is corrupt both at an individual and insititutional level.

I wish to pose the possibility that the corrupt Tammany Hall style Illinois Democrats may be capable of manipulating the electoral process outside of Illinois itself and across the United States through a system of influence involving duplicitous trade union activity and manipulated voter registration rolls.

The corruption of Governor Blagojevich has been revealed this week by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
Mr Fitzgerald had a duty to reveal it.
But my analysis is that Mr Fitzgerald is not the knight in shining armour which Fox News, CNN and others, say he is.
Mr Fitzgerald's only real prior claim to fame is his incarceration of a Bush Administration official Mr Scooter Libby for what I believe to be trumped up charges of obstructing an investigation and perjury.
Mr Fitzgerald pursued Mr Libby in what was either a politicised attempt to discredit the Bush Administration, or worse, a grandiose and egregious act of self promotion motivated solely by Mr Fitzgerald's own overleaping ambition.
Scooter Libby had done nothing wrong.
At the time Mr Fitzgerald successfully incarcerated Scooter Libby, Mr Fitzgerald was investigating trumped up allegations that the name of CIA employee Valerie Plame had been leaked to the media by Bush Administration officials.
Mr Fitzgerald did not investigate the real scandal surrounding Valerie Plame.
Namely that she, as a partisan Democratic Party supporter who happened to be employed in a CIA office, had attempted to impede President Bush's policies in the War On Terror by recommending her Democratic Party supporting anti war husband Joe Wilson for the job of checking up on the late great Saddam Hussein's attempts to acquire nuclear weapons materials in Africa.
Valerie Plame's husband Joe Wilson duly reported, as she had intended he would, that Saddam had not been engaged in procuring such material.
Scooter Libby went to jail while Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson became the toasts of the anti Bush media.
Mr Fitzgerald made it happen.

Mr Fitzgerald found no evidence that Valerie Plame's name had been leaked by Bush Administration officials. Nor has he been able to demonstrate convincingly that if her name had been leaked, such a leak would have been against the law.

Mr Fitzgerald ignored Valerie Plame and her husband's attempts to divert US foreign policy towards their own personal agendas.
Mr Fitzgerald instead incarcerated Scooter Libby through frivolous and arbitrary contrivances of judicial polity.
Mr Fitzgerald is no hero.
Mr Fitzgerald is no white knight.
Mr Fitzgerald is an ambitious amoral legal professional.
We should not expect too much of him in the present imbroglio.

Mr Fitzgerald's supporters in the media have contended that Mr Fitzgerald played a significant part in the conviction of Al Qaeda terrorists following the first World Trade Centre bombings in 1993 and the subsequent bombings of two American embassies in Africa in 1998.
The few terrorists who were convicted received jail terms.
Al Qaeda must have nearly wet themselves laughing.
"Jail terms!" the Jihadi's must have crowed. "How many human beings do you have to kill in this town before the Americans get serious?"
In any case I would suggest that Mr Fitzgerald's role in these cases was marginal as he was at the time merely Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
His own publicity machine might be exagerating his heroism in these matters.
Mr Fitzgerald has never taken down any terrorists directly.
He has though incarcerated Scooter Libby and attempted to run pass defence for Saddam Hussein's American would be rescuers, to wit Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson.

There is one other consideration we should weigh.
The corrupt Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been under investigation for several years.
His corruption is documented and would have necessarily come to light eventually.
We should not look up to Mr Fitzgerald too much for bringing it to light this week.
In fact we might reasonably wonder why Mr Fitzgerald did not make any moves to bring Governor Blagojevich's batent, arrogant and arrant corruption into the public domain before the Presidential election.

I am postulating that Mr Fitzgerald, the supposed white knight of the American legal system, deliberately delayed the emergence of information about the investigation of Governor Blagojevich until after Governor Blagojevich's protege from Illinois Senator Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States of America.

Friday, December 12, 2008

the passing parade

There is a tide in the affairs of men which when taken at the flood leads on to great things.
Well so I've been told.
Afternoon lolling in a cafe.
Tis the Costa Cafe in the Whitewater Centre in Newbridge.
Famed in song and story.
Now famous for me lolling in it.
The actor formerly known as John Coleman wanders by my table.
"Heelers," sez he pleasantly, "I genuinely fail to understand how you managed to fall out with everybody in Kilcullen Drama Group. The show was only on for two nights."
"What are you talking about Colers?" I shoot back. "You've been in plays with me. You know my methods."
Colers shrugs and wanders off.
Enter the Mammy stage left.
She is accompanied by the sleek lady lawyer.
They pull up some pews and begin discussing the economic crisis.
I am stunned that neither of them sees fit to ask my opinion.
They cluck away happily.
I take refuge in a little pool of resentment glowering at each as much as I dare.
Imagine sitting with me and not asking me for my patented solutions to the financial collapse of the western world.
The Mammy and the sleek lady lawyer chatter on.
Presently the sleek lady lawyer's leggy daughter arrives.
Anne Baines.
She hath more legs than your dreams.
Two to be precise.
She leans over and gives me a kiss as she sits down.
You'd be surprised gentle travellers of the internet, quite how abruptly my resentments vanished.
One little kiss was all it took.
The ghost of Captain Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek appears at my shoulder.
"You lucky swine," he says before vanishing.
I'm telling you folks, I have no longer any complaints against existence or anyone in it.
The great questions of the hour matter not one whit.
Is the whole two thousand year history of western civilisation about to be wiped out by a cartel of corrupt bankers, pyramid selling stock exchange companies, overpaid car makers, and psychotically extortionate State Sector trade unions?
Who cares!
Having been kissed by Anne Baines I can honestly attest, none of the other stuff matters.
A gentle peace descends upon my spirit.
The three females are engrossed in each other's company.
I am ignored and beatific.
Just a little kiss.
Remarkable the effect.
And lo!
Who is this approaching my table?
What light from yonder entrance to the cafe breaks?
Why if it isn't Elaine Murphy, Events Manager for the Hopkins Poetry Festival.
The Elaine Murphy.
Perhaps she's come on behalf of the festival committee to offer belated recognition to Ireland's greatest living poet.
(Heelers means himself. - Ed note.)
She hails me as she passes.
I don't mean she hails me in the sense that she recognises my inherent greatness and offers to pay me five hundred quid for performing at next year's Hopkins festival.
I mean she says hello.
Then she adds: "You must be delighted Barack Obama won the election."
My handsome visage is a study.
"If by delighted you mean absolutely furious," I tell her, "yup, that just about sums it up."
Elaine appears midly nonplussed.
"Were you surprised he won?" she ventures.
I shake my handsome head.
"There is nothing in the world more powerful," quoth I, "than an idea whose time has come."
Elaine frowns.
"Who said that?" sez she.
"I did," sez I.
"Someone else said it first though," sez she.
"I'm telling you it's a Heelers original," sez I.
"No, no it was someone famous," sez she.
And she sails off through the cafe before I have time to enunciate the various permutations of protestation that her remark requires.
I am left with my caffe latte once more contemplating the callousness of a world that does not appreciate my sublime genius.
The only consolation I can see amid this realm of indifference is the rather splendid vista of Anne Baines' legs.
I wonder will she give me another kiss before she leaves.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

a secret worth telling

The following letter was written by my Grand Aunt Margaret Mahon and has been preserved by the family for nearly ninety years. In religion Margaret Mahon took the name Sister Mary Anthony and worked for much of her life at an orphanage in England. The letter which was written to another Grand Aunt, has not been published before today.

Saint Dominic's Priory, West Grinstead, Horsham, Sussex, England. 6th Oct 1919.

My dearest Sister.
Yesterday being Rosary Sunday we had Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from after the Second Mass until Benediction in the Evening. We had the Blessing of and distribution of Roses also. I am sending you some of these Roses which I hope will bring a great blessing with them for each of you. I am going to tell you a great secret. On Saturday evening at 8.30 - I went into the Playground - where there were a number of boys assembled and a few of the Sisters, looking in the direction of the place where the Blessed Virgin was said to have appeared several times. I only ran outside to get a key as I could not get up to the Dormitory - where my twenty four little Cherubs were asleep - as I put them to bed at six o'clock each evening. Well I said to a Sister who was near me, let us recite the Rosary - and she said will you say it? I said Yes, but let one of the boys who have seen our Blessed Lady say the Our Fathers and Hail Marys, So we started it - kneeling in the Playground, when we reached the third mystery the Blessed Virgin made herself visible surrounded by a light which did not dazzle the eyes, but only Sent a thrill through the few who saw her. There was a Sister quite close to me. So I whispered - look at the Blessed Virgin - She is coming nearer and nearer. She said, I can't see her, but the boy who was saying the Our Fathers etc said Yes Sister Anthony I can see her and look she is bowing her head towards us. We continued the Rosary but I was trembling like an aspen leaf - not with fear - but with a great joy - which I can't express. The boy who helps me with the Babies was in bed in the Babies' Dormitory when I went up - so I woke him and asked him - if he had said his Rosary, he said Oh Yes! Oh Yes Sister and he burst out crying - and said - I will try to be very good always. I really saw the Blessed Virgin with my own eyes! I did! I did! I did! Needless to say I believed him - as the same thing was true in my own case. Only four Sisters saw her - Although there were several in the Playground. Then when we were saying the Hail Holy Queen - when we came to the words turn then most gracious Advocate thine eyes of mercy towards us! our Blessed Mother bowed her head in the direction - where we were Kneeling and gradually disappeared, leaving a Star of Gold in the middle of a fir tree where she seemed to come from at first. Fr Smith is busy this morning cutting down the tree, so we do not know now, if she will be visible again. I am not supposed to tell you but I am doing so for your comfort, as I offered you all my dearly loved ones to the Blessed Virgin. This is not imagination as I am very Sceptical and I do not easily give credance to such Visions, etc. but I am cured (from) forever now - and I shall not consider anything impossible. I am always praying for you, and since I have had charge of the Babies - it is nothing but Rosary, Rosary, Rosary, and the youngsters simply love it. Please do not mention this vision to Fr Smith if you write as he might be very displeased with me for mentioning it, but I am sure it will make you happy, as it has filled me with Heavenly-Joy. I do not mind dying at any moment. It is lovely to think of the beauty of Heaven's Queen. What must an eternity with Mary be when a glimpse Can give such joy as this is! Pray for me! How good good God is, and how much we should try (and how hard - also)- to love him more and more each day. I brought you to the Exposition and all at House on Sunday. Please give my kindest love to all. You may tell Lizzie and Marion this - but it must not be published as Fr Smith wants it kept quiet. We want the B Virgin to work a miracle here. DV. This is a very privileged spot, - and Holy ground here - watered with the Blood of Martyrs. You will hear the history from Fr Smith's own lips when you come! Did Michael tell you that he invited you over here soon. I hope to hear.

(The following lines are written in the margins of the first page of the letter.)
Early in the evening of Saturday 4th a Sister said to me - come out and see where the B Virgin is supposed to appear. I said Oh no! We must not be presumptuous - She only comes to innocent children. We shall see her in Heaven PG. Little did I dream she would privilege me with a glimpse of her loveliness. Fr Smith came to see me last night about it - but do not even pretend I told you this secret. I know it will make you happy. Love to you and a

(The following lines are written in the margins of the second page of the letter.)
Dearest Sister you can give my Father this letter and Thomas and anyone in Vmt House because I will always tell you everything. I love you all very very much & the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. The above is true with regard to Michael, Marion and Lizzie - Is Pat still with you.

(The following lines are written in the margin of the third page of the letter.)
I feel terribly happy - and nothing seems worth troubling about but the one thing necessary. I am sure I can trust you with this secret can't I? Remember me to Pat too. When is he coming back? He must take a couple of you back with me. With fondest love to Father + all. These Roses often work wonderful cures. They were Blessed with the B. Sacrament too.
Good news from you in Autour. (Autour is an approximation of an illegible word.)
Excuse scribbling in haste.
Yours sister in haste,
With much Love, Sister M Anthony.

DV = Deo volente, God willing;
PG = Please God;
Vmt House = Valleymount House, the Mahon family home and shop which is still owned by a cousin of my father's today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

intimations of dawn

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

a matter of faith

The best preacher I ever encountered was Father Nally, an intense northern padre who came to Kilcullen as curate a few decades ago.
His sermons had an unlikely memorability.
Once heard never forgotten you might say.
And it wasn't always what he'd say as much as the way he said it.
Father Nally had a stirring epic almost Shakespearian style of delivery.
Why it was like listening to some great actor declaiming from the altar.
Johnny Gielgud.
Or Richard Burton.
Or me.
The congregation would sit there looking stunned.
Often because they were stunned.
I remember one Christmas morning how he electrified the sleepy congregation with the following classic:
"Some of you are here for the first time this year. And what the church is saying to you is..."
We all waited for the cosy cliche of welcome.
"... go away," said Father Nally.
Years later my cousin Jennifer was telling me how wrong he had been to speak this way.
I asked her how many other sermons that she'd heard throughout her life could she recall with such clarity.
She recalled no other.
Only this one.
Curious eh!
During Ireland's Bishop Cronzey scandal, (Bishop meets girl, Bishop beds girl, Tony O'Reilly's newspaper group gives birth to triplets, yadda yadda yadda), Father Nally was not at all abashed by the wave of negative newspaper comment being directed towards institutionalised religion.
He confronted the issue during a sermon.
"So you think the clergy have failed you?" he demanded of us one Summer's evening. "Well you have failed us. Massively!"
Now that's good shooting.
Father Nally occasionally allowed himself an uplifting and cheerful discourse about the after life and the likelihood that many of those present in the church would shortly be going to hell.
When he got going on that theme, he'd scare the bejabers out of you.
I remember one utterly incomprehensible absolutely terrifying story he told where a nurse looked in on a sick man and said: "Oh, he's getting better."
The doctor at the bedside shook his head. "Can't you see?" said the doctor. "The flies are already half way in control."
Father Nally told that story with great relish and then added without a word of explanation but with a most sinister intonation:
"Jesus had many names for him."
You know who Father Nally was referring to?
Let me put it this way.
It wasn't the patient.
It wasn't the nurse.
It wasn't the doctor.
I still get shivers when I remember the way he orchestrated that particular story.
Father Nally was also sometimes capable of a surprising sensitivity to other faiths.
At least it surprised me.
As the Berlin wall fell and a new era of freedom seemed to be dawning for the world, he spoke to us about the followers of the Russian Orthodox religion.
Wise men from the east, he called them.
I think he hoped they'd show us the way to a deeper faith.

Father Nally must have known great unhappiness.
I sense it.
There was a desolation in his voice at times.
An anger.
In some way he had judged himself not just us.
And he had judged harshly.

But the sermons were superb.
Thunderous orations against the excesses of an age that worships itself.
And his service to the community was beyond reproach.
Weddings, funerals, baptisms.
Those sterile ceremonious moments when the Irish grudgingly allow priests into their lives.
At other times when we meet the Padres, it's just "How ye Father," and we hurry past.
How many times do they hear respectfully muttered "How ye Fathers?" Do they ever get sick of it? I wonder do they ever yearn for someone to say "May I call you by your first name, Father," and laugh a bit.
Perhaps for Father Nally the sermons were his only moments of honest self expression.
The only times he could show some emotion.
When he left our town, there was a collection taken up and an official presentation afterwards.
At the presentation Father Nally addressed his former parishioners for the last time.
"Some of you will be glad to see me go," he said with a sad little smile. "May God forgive you."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

a romantic interlude

Coffees with Serafina.
"I slept with a guy last night," quoth she. "We didn't make love though."
The noble Heelers paused coffee cup suspended.
My face was a study.
Serafina continued.
"We just slept together," she said. "What do you think of that?"
My handsome features took on a poignant pallor.
"I think," sez I, "you might as well just take me outside and shoot me."
Serafina grinned.
"James," quoth she sweetly, "you are my one true friend."
With a shock I realised she was speaking Girlygirl, the ancient language of women.
The words sound English but they don't mean what you'd think they'd mean.
The frustrating thing is that some girls can switch between the two languages without batting a bootie.
The trick is to know which one they're using at any given moment.
I recognised the phrase she'd used.
It was in a foreign language but I recognised it.
For I can translate Girlygirl tolerably well having come off the worst at the hands of girlygirls more or less continuously throughout the past twenty years.
You pick it up after a while.
My handsome preraphaelite features went a bit Gothic.
"I would be flattered except I happen to know what you mean by that," I told her stiffly. "You mean that I am going to be listening to stories about your bad boy biker boyfriends for the rest of my life."
Serafina allowed herself an adorably guilty smile before lapsing into a silence which lasted many minutes.

here is the news

The heiress Martha Sharp Crawford has died after more than two decades in a coma.
She is known to the world as Sunny Von Bulow but I am reluctant to append the name of her husband Claus Von Bulow to hers because he is the man who was accused in two murder trials of injecting her with insulin in an attempt to kill her.
The lawyer Alan Dershowitz enabled Claus Von Bulow to beat the rap for murdering his wife.
Mr Dershowitz is mentioned in some but not all of the internet reportage of Sunny's death.
CNN quotes him asserting that he (Dershowitz) proved Claus Von Bulow did not murder her.
He proved no such thing.
But he won the court case.
And for defence lawyers that is enough.
For the rest of us it may not be.
Morally and from the point of view of human integrity, Mr Dershowitz stands on a par with Johnny Cochrane the lawyer who helped OJ Simpson beat his murder raps.
Johnny Cochrane is now answering directly to God for his actions in the OJ case, giving an account of himself before a Judge to whom it is not possible to lie and call it ice cream.
Mr Dershowitz, and the rest of us, will some day take the stand in the same courtroom.
Before that day comes we may all take a moment to contemplate what Johnny Cochrane, Alan Dershowitz and their ilk have done to the practice of law in the Free World.
They have taken the phrase "innocent until proven guilty," which was intended as a noble aspiration to objectivity, and turned it into a get out of jail free card for murderers.
Damn them to hell.