The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Last week I walked into Clarke's Menswear shop in the town of Newbridge.
Vivian Clarke began to talk to me about a trip he had taken to New York.
I asked him had he been to Ground Zero.
He told me he had.
"James it was eerie," he said. "The stillness. The devastation. You could feel it. And right there in the middle of the devastation was a church completely untouched."
I hadn't heard this before.
The next day I was talking to Ron Baines who does a lot of Christian preaching.
Ron was telling me about his visits to America.
I asked had he been to Ground Zero.
He said he had and that he had found the experience "eerie."
That word again.
"James," he said, "there's an atmosphere there. And you won't believe this. But right there where it all happened, right in the middle of the destruction, there's a Church still standing. I've never seen it mentioned in the media. But it's there. It must mean something."
Both Mr Clarke and Mr Baines' use of the word eerie had put me in mind of something the British parliamentarian (and roue) Alan Clarke had once written.
Tonight I picked out my copy of the Alan Clarke Diaries.
I opened it at random.
My eye fell on the passage that had been on my mind.
Alan Clarke (no relation to Vivian) was standing on the corner of the street in Serbia where the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in 1914.
Alan Clarke wrote: "I felt it. Something in the air. A charge. The infernal spark had come out from this place to ignite the world."


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