The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

my ira heritage

(celebrating the 1916 Rising with the Heelers Diaries)

Coffee with Soldier X in a bar in the rough hewn suburban town of Sallins.
As we entered one of Ireland's less salubrious public houses, I told him: "These are nice people. Peasants but nice. There will be no need to hit anyone this evening."
He took my advice in the spirit it was intended.
The only sign of demurral came two hours later when I found him facing down half a dozen hard chaws in the toilets and telling them a la Clint Eastwood that they couldn't smoke cigarettes here.
I kid you not.
With this little vignette playing out to right and left of me, I composed my features a la Tuco into an expression which I hoped would impute clearly: "You mad ------- you're on your own," whipped out Syracuse, and endeavoured to pee without getting any on the carpet or on my shoes, before returning to the bar sans a backward glance.
Most of the rest of the evening we spent in reminiscences and political debate.
It became a bit heated at one point with him calling me a "West Brit traitor," over some perceived disrespect to the revolutionary tradition.
"Do you see the irony here?" I murmured.
"What irony?"
"Well your grandfather was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary and spent the War Of Independence chasing my Grand Uncle who was an IRA Judge around the Wicklow Mountains. My Grand Uncle died for Ireland. but you don't see me calling your ancestors traitors as you've just called me."
"I don't see your point?"
I allowed him to ponder it without further elaboration.
At length he said gently enough: "How did your Uncle die?"
"A tree fell on him," I said proudly.


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