Black and Tans. Chapter 9. Cattle raids

  1. Tall Northern Irish sergeant. Ian  North. Yorks.—————————————-


2. Short Londoner soldier – blond sergeant aged 40. George Short. Anti Irish anti everyone—————————


3. Davies. Benedict’s. Benjamin  David. Scotland. Not sectarian. Rangers fan—————————


4. Watkins. John Watkins. Wales—————————————


5. Tavi Moise. Octavian Moses. Southampton. Anti Catholic——————


6. swimming pool guy from school. Alexander   Brokenshire. Liverpool. ————————————


7. Major Neil.  Edward MacNeil. Geordie. Half Irish Catholic but raised Prod. ————————————–


8. Col Olley. Oliver Sergeant.  Berks.—————————————————


9. Mike Cunningham.   Mark Cunningham. Newcastle.————————————–


10. Relu Marichenano.  Richard  March. Lancs. Catholic————————————-


11. Richard chemistry pilot. Older officer. Richard Dixon. Suffolk.——————————


12.  Louis Limtay. Born 1890. protagonist.—————————————————-


13. Williams Bulkeley. William Bulkeley.


14.    Blairmore teacher. Blair Teacher                  anti Catholic. Scots.——————————



  1. N Lupton. Mayo. Nick Lumley. spy————————–


2.  Anthony FitzPatrick. Midlands. Tony FitzGerald.


3. Rick Forshaw. Wee North. Prod. Rick Forshaw. 


4. Shaheen’s husband. Dubliner.  Sean Groom.  transferred—————


5. O’Kelly. invalided out ———————————-


6. Murphy. retired.————————————————


7. Bill Moore. sergeant (W C C)


8. Seamus Bolger (Spanish teacher) shot dead——————————-


9. Donal   MacDonald  (Alec Scott) wounded———————————



Cattle raids – IRA burn house of man who sells to RIC – Fr Meagher and Downy discuss politics. — Lynne arrested – Lynne questioned. – IRA arms found – Lynne interrogated again

The IRA battalion foregathered in Sweet Hillocks. Under the command of Lynne ably assisted by Jim London led the volunteers towards O’Donnell’s farmstead. Lynne and London rode their purloined steeds – the rest were on foot. London had thought of braning his mount IRA but Lynne had persuaded him that there was no need to give the RIC evidence against them in case the horse were ever found.

It was not long after midnight when the stalwart, earnest band of IRA men drew up at the house. The border colley barked as she smelt the iffy odour of a dozen IRA men approaching. The cur scampered out and growled at the heels of Lynne’s horse. Lynne was nervous of the dog snapping at the fetlocks of his steed. He considered shooting the hound but would the report of the gun bring the RIC from the barracks a few miles distant? Probably not. There was also a chance he might miss and shoot his horse in the ankle. In the end after a minute of yapping the dog retired to its kennel.

The cattle in the she lowed anxiously at the noise of a dozen men tramping by.

The grim array surrounded the house lest any of the occupants essay an escape. The dog’s barks and noise of a dozen pairs of boots on gravel together with the neighs of the horses had awoken the householder.

Mr O’Donnell had put on his lantern and opened his curtains. He looked out the window and felt fear shiver through him. He knew who it must be.

O’Donnell’s teenaged son Peadar opened his window and shinned down a drainpipe in his pyjamas. As he reached the ground Hendricks leveled his gun at the boy’s back

”Where the fuck you think you are going?” Hendricks growled.

The boy turned to face Hendricks

”Get that gun out of me face” Peadar O Donnell said truculently.

”How dare you speak that way to me. I am an IRA volunteer” said Hendricks snootily.

”You think you are tough? A dozen armed men with masks on coming to a house in the middle of the night. Scaring women and children. Robbing people?” said Young O Donnell.

”Shut up you bowsie or I will put manners on you. I know who you are Peadar” said Hendricks

”Why don’t you go and fight the English?” Peadar O Donnell challenged him;

”We are fighting the English.” said Hendricks taken aback.

”No you are not. I am an Irishman too. Why you stealing off us?” said Peadar defiantly.

”Yerra shut up. You are strong farmers. Doing business with Prods.” said Hendricks. Hendricks did business with Protestants whenever he bought from them. He chose to overlook the fact that he had once worked for a Protestant family himself.

”Point the gun away. Why don’t you show your face? You a coward’?’ said Peadar.

Hendricks was enraged. This was an insult he could not allow go unchallenged. He jabbed the rifle into Peader’s solar plexus. Peadar doubled over and cried out. Hendricks jabbed him with it twice more in the groin. As the boy was shielding his gonads and groaning with his eyes closed Hendricks took the opportunity to smash the boy in the face. His face bled liberally. Hendricks then kicked him in the stomach several times until he lay down sobbing. Hendricks went behind Peadar and used his rifle butt to whack the poor teenager in the kidneys. Hendricks then stamped on the boys testimonials. Peadar lay dazed and bleeding. Peadar reflected that this beating was similar to one meted out to his cousin in Ulster by UPA terrorists for the crime of being a Catholic. It was a curious parallel that the soi disant defenders of the Catholics should assault a Catholic in the same manner.

Lynne sat on his horse on the far side of the house oblivious to the savage thrashing meted out by Hendricks to Mr Feargal O’Donnell’s son.

Lynne called out ”Come out  Feargal O’Donnell. This is the IRA. Tax collection. We want your money and your cattle. Come out and you will not be harmed. If you do not we will burn the place to the ground with your children inside.”

Feargal O’Donnell lifted the window up and croaked.  ”I shall come down very fast. Please don’t hurt me. I am a good Irishman and a Catholic.”

O’Donnell was a man in his 40s. He had grey hair and clean shaven. His was well built and had a hawk like face.

A minute later O’Donnell was at the door with a duffel coat over his white pyjamas. He had a biscuit tin in his hands.

Lynne sat on his horse holding a revolver and a black canvass bag.

”Now O’Donnell what is in the biscuit tin.”

”Our savings. 48 pounds.” said Feargal O Donnell

”48 pounds. A niggardly sum for a man of your wealth. How many acres have you? Have you 200?” said Lynne contemptuously.

”220” Feargal O Donnell corrected him  – trying not to seem proud of his relative affluence.

”You are a wealth man. You have tenants. You employ farm boys and two housemaids. You rent out fields. Some of the tenants say the rent is too high. See that it is cut by half.” said Lynne

”Cut by half? I cannot afford that. I have 7 children.” said Lynne.

” Your tenants have children too. You have many children; That is your fault you keep going home every night. There is a woman in this townland has 21 children ; not all still alive. One of your tenants has 14 children> Your need to pay the maids more. You have your eldest son in a private school. That is an indulgence  – you are trying to ape the ENglish robber baron class.” said Lynne unwaveringly.

”But Commandant Lynne…” began O’Donnell

”Lynne? How do you know my name?” Lynne cut in testily.

”Everyone knows it is you. I recognise the voice. Besides it is widely known in this townland that you are leader of the IRA in these parts.” said O’donnell; Lynne was pertubed but O Donnell had not felt supressed.

Lynne cursed himself.

O’Donnell handed the biscuit tin. ”Please do not take my cattle. I am a Sinn Feiner. I am on your side.”

”Then you will happily donate to the cause.” said Lynne half shyly;

”Ah come on. Why don’t you take off the loyalists and the Prods,” said O Donnell with growing self assurance. He could tell he had Lynne on the back foot.

”We do but they have nothing left to take.” said Lynne. ”Now you had better no report this to the RIC. It would turn out very badly for you if there was any report of theft.”

”You are taking all my cattle?” said O Donnell.

”Yes all of them” said Lynne.

The look on O’Donnell’s face indicated that he was considering informing the RIC on the morrow.

”Don’t you even think about it O’Donnell. If you speak to the RIC you will be assumed to be a spy. You know the fate of traitors. Don’t think we won’t do it. We have killed plenty traitors before. Ok forget about cutting the rent. Pay the maids what you want. Cut their wages for all I care but the IRA needs these cows.” said Lynne.

”Very well then. May I bid you good night?” said O Donnell striving not to come across as sarcastic.

”Good night” said Lynne almost civilly.

O’Donnell closed the door not to seem rude. He went up to his bed. He was philosophical. O’Donnell had got away without a beating. That was Lucky. He had heard of men being beaten to within an inch of their lives by these IRA liberators.

The IRA went to the cattle shed and roped up the beasts. They led them through the night to a specially prepared pen in a clearing deep in the woods of Sweet Hillocks. One they slaughtered and butchered up. It was not left to hang but was cooked straightaway. The other 30 cattle were taken to various IRA men to their family farms.

O’Donnell then discovered his son was missing. He found the boy semi concious and suffering from exposure. O’Donnell hurried him in. The family cared for the injured child as best they could. The man was wiser than to dare report the crime to the RIC.

The IRA retreated in good order to its encampment. Hendricks talked incessantly of the magnificent hiding he had delivered to that uppity O Donnell boy. Others chortled heartily as he regaled them with his account of this splendid feat. He did not notice his cômpanion Conlan was silent and feeling singularly queasy.

Conlan felt uneasy about the scene he had witnessed. At least they had deprived a petit bourgeois of the fruits of exploitation. They had struck a blow for the horny handed sons of toil. The proletariat would be better off for lower rents and higher pay. But Conlan wanted a total remoulding of society. Not just tinkering with wages and rents. The beating o Peadar O Donnel troubled hiM. The boy had given Hendricks lip and been beaten almost senseless for it. There was no call for that. Was Conlan guilty by being there he asked himself? He remembered the proverb of Euripides : a man is judged by the company he keeps. He had learnt that when performing a Greek play.*

Lynne assured the assembled company that there would be many more rambles to outlying farmsteads. Many more midnight réquisitions would ensure that they dined well. A few men decided to head to their homes before dawN. They crept past houses lest they wake the occupants and alert them to the general location of the IRA hideout.

Thompson stole through the morning mist to his paramours abode. He plucked some wild flowers to present in a bouquet to Fr Meagher who was a man of refined sensibilities. At any rate he was a good deal more sophisticated than Downy.



Nagle and Tooth lay in wait in behind a bush at the wayside. It was a cool spring evening. They were wrapped up warm and both held revolvers and wore balaclavas.

”Pig farmers should be back soon” said Tooth.

”The Condons walking from Killarney. That is a good 20 miles. They will be here in an hour I say.” Nagle added.

”Not many are as slow as you.” said Tooth.

”Why did we not ambush them on the way out?” said Nagle.

”No so much money you cretin. We want cash not pigs. Are you an amadan? They will sell the porkers there and come back with pockets full of money.” said Tooth.

Just then the father and son rounded the corner. They looked jolly. Joe Condon father was a bluff man in his 30s with wildly bouffant black hair and a simpleton’s expression. He was chubby and 5’10. His son, Patrick Condon, was aged 16 and stood 5’4” – he had thick dark brown hair as disorderly as his father’s. He was sallower skinned and wore wire framed glasses. They had no pigs beside them. Patrick was a newcomer to market fairs : it had been his elder brother who had accompanied his father previously. Patrick was on a real high after the razzmatazz of the fair.

Tooth and Nagle stepped out from behind the hedge. Both had their caps down low and scarves around their faces.  They brandished their revolvers.

”Give us your money” said Tooth. He held out a carpet bag for them to put their wallets into.

Joe Condon was struck by fear. His face trembled a moment with the sheer shock of it. Was this really happening? Then he recovered his composure.

”I can tell the IRA on you.” said Condon.

”We are the IRA you amadan.” said Tooth.

”But I am on your side.” said Condon sounding half trusting;

”Shut up and put the wallet in there” said Tooth impatiently

Condon pulled his wallet out and slowly dropped it into the bag. His reluctance was plain.

”Now and the boy’s ” said Tooth.

”Yeah come on” said Nagle trying to sound hard.

”Ah come on we have given enough.” said Condon.

”Shut your face Condon.” said Tooth.

”Yeah shut it” said Nagle ” I have a good mind to give you a bullet between the eyes like” he said and snorted in the mucus in his nose.

The boy was dumbstruck. He slowly pulled out his wallet and went over to Tooth and dropped it in.

”Hey you know my name. Maybe I know you.” said Joe Condon.

”You do not. Now lie face down on the road the pair of you.” said Tooth.

”But it is muddy” said Joe.

”Do it now” Tooth screamed – he was not faking his irritation. The men both lay face down in the mire.

Tooth stood several paces back. ”Now get the ropes out. Bind their hands. Put your revolver away first in case they try to snatch it” he said to Nagle ”Do I have to teach you everything?”

”Well you brought me along. Hey I know how to do this I done it enough times before.” said Nagle – irked at being talked down to.

Nagle got two lengths of rope from his pocket. He put his revolver into his trousers. He knelt on the roadside. ”Hands behind your back” he said imperiously. He relished controlling people.

Nagle bouned the father’s hand tightly – and again. Doubled knotting.

”Ah that is too tight. You will cut off the circulation” said Condon;

”I do not give a damn” said Nagle chuckling.

”Why you robbing me?. I am republican too.” said Condon.

”Are you? We never saw you at the IRA or at SInn Fein meetings” said Nagle.

”Well I support the cause. God Save Ireland. To hell with the English. Down with the king. Down with the empire. Come on let me go” said Condon.

”Shut up Condon.” said Tooth.

Nagle then  moved to the teenaged boy. He was poised with his hands behind his back. Nagle began to tie him up.

”Ah come on don’t tie my son up he is only young.” said Condon plaintively.

”All the faster to raise the hue and cry” said Nagle ” we are not idiots.” He tied the boy’s wrists to tight that the coarse rope pinched the skin,

”Ah no you are cutting off the blood flow.” said the boy.

”Shut it or we will beat the hell out of you” said Tooth.

Nagle then stood up breathing heavily from his exertion. He got his gun out.

”Now stand up” said Tooth to the Condons.

”You just made us lie down can’t we rest a while?” asked Condon in supplication.

”No you can’t stand up” said Tooth harshly/

”It is hard to stand up when my arms are tied” said Condon rolling onto his side and getting to his knees. His son did likewise.

”Get them up” said Tooth

Nagle went over  and took Joe Condon’s hat off. Then Nagle grabbed the father by the hair. He yanked the man to his feet. Condon tried out in pain. The boy struggled to his feet.

Tooth counted the takings in the wallets.

”A niggardly 30 pounds. I know you pig farmers are rich as Crassus. Where is the rest of the money?” said Tooth.

”That is all there is” said Joe Condon blinking wildly.

”Bull shit.” said Tooth ”Search their pockets”

Nagle put his hands into their other pockets in their trousers and jackets. From the father’s breast pocket he found more money. In the boy’s left hand trouser pocket he found more money still.

”Ah -ha” said Tooth ”You lying bastard. I am the masked bandit. No one lies to me. You shall get your punishment you greedy bastard.”

”Greedy? You rob me a hard working farmer and I am greedy?” said Condon.

Tooth took his revolver and smashed Joe across the face with it. Then back again. He carried on pistol whipping the man. Joe cried out in pain and his face bled liberally. The boy can at Tooth and tried to kick him. Tooth dodged and kicked the boy to the ground.

”They know who we are better finish them off” said Tooth.

”You sure about that?” said Nagle.

Tooth did not answer. He got close to Joe and aimed carefully at the temple. He shot Joe dead. The boy started screaming.

”Ah no – not me. You haven’t killed my father have you?” said Joe.

Tooth took aim at the boy’s forehead and coolly shot him above the left eyebrow. The boy slumped dead as claret coloured blood splashed out onto the khaki coloured road.

Nagle panicked and began shrieking very fast ”what you do and do that for? Oh my God. We will hang for this? What you shoot them for? No need to shoot them. They are dead. No. They are not dead are they?” he chuckled nervously ”can’t be”

”dead as a doornail” said Tooth already heading for the gap in the hedge. Nagle trotted after him still jabbering.

”Nagle shut up. We got to waste tracks. Do not waste your breath talking. I could tell than Condon recognises me despite the disguise. I am too well known in this road. Besides I wore these boots last week in town. People don’t have many pairs of boots” said Tooth.

Tooth hurried away into the woods. Nagle fell silent and reflected on the finality of what had been done.

Tooth turned to reassure him ”we will just spread the word that the English police did it.. We got almost 60 pounds now. I will give you 20 That was a lovely days work.” He felt not a whit of remorse.

Hours later Nagle summoned up the courage to ask again.

“Why we kill them? They were not Prods , no heathen?”

Tooth sîm^lu tutted and narrowed his eyes to shake his head in irritation ” shut your hole”



The RIC regularly patrolled in pairs around Clountreem. Louis was patrolling with North the next morning in February gloom.

A chubby faced young woman with raven hair and in a grey dress came up to them. ”Ye bastards. Ye murdered Condon and his son on the road!” she then spat at them. Saliva landed on Louis’s tunic.

Louis and North were taken aback. ”What?” said Louis ”We did not kill anyone.”

”Never trust the word of an Englishman” said the 25 year old woman ”Ye murdered Condon and his son as they came back from the pig fair. Ye murdered them yesterday evening. Stole their money too. The whole town knows.”

North looked at Louis. The puzzlement on their faces was plain. North then turned to the woman who was seething.

”We did not kill anyone. These men where were they killed?” said North in puzzlement.

”On the road back from Killarney – don’t pretend like you don’t know. You are the King’s Own Murderers.” said the female/

”What on the earth are you talking about?” said Louis. ”Are the bodies still there?”

”No they are in the church you pigs” she turned and strode off.

North and Louis were non plussed. He then said to North ”Good thing the bodies are not still up on the road. Otherwise we would have to go and investigate. That could be a trap. Leading us into an ambush.”

North nodded his head. ”I do not know what this is about. Road to Killarney. Nobody patrolled in that direction yesterday” North was aware that their denials however categorical were not going to sway public opinion or put paid to lurid rumours. Most people had a deeply entrenched prejudice against the RIC;

They hurried over to the church. The door was wide open. A few malodorous elderly women in black clothes with shawls over their heads and senile hairs sprouting from their upper lips knelt at the back muttering their mindless orisons. These old women had turned to religion in their widowhood and dotage. North and Louis hurried past the women who pattered out decades of the rosary. The women at prayer scarcely noticed the two policemen carrying rifles.

Louis and North walked straight up towards dimly lit the altar. The wax candles burned in memory of the dead to the side of it. There in plywood coffins lay the bodies of Joe Condon and his son. The wounds had not been tended by the undetaker.

Louis gasped when he say them. He had not been prepared for this eventuality. IRA men or RIC men might be slain but these two? He was staggered. These men were uninvolved in the conflict.

Just then Fr Downy came out from a side door.

”What are ye doing here Protestants? You are not welcome here” said Fr Downy his brow frowning.

”Sorry father we should have asked permission” said Louis ” we heard that these two men were murdered. We came to investigate” he said elaborately rigidly.

”Investigate? Is that a sick joke? ” said Downy ” Ye killed these two innocents and stole from their corpses. Now their families will be destitute.”

Louis looked at Downy and said very deliberately ”We did not kill these men”

Downy saw the sincerity on Louis’ expression ”You individually did not maybe but one of your English dogs did it.”

”I do not think so. I heard these men were shot on the road to Killarney” said Louis

”Ah so you do know because one of your men did it” said Downy seeming satisfied. He discerned continuing honesty in Louis voice but chose to dispel the possibility that the RIC might be innocent.

”No. A woman in the street berated us. Told us that. She spat on me look” Louis pointed to the spittle staining his uniform.

”I do not believe you. I never believe a word an Englishman says. You are a race of liars. Congenital liars. You learn lying as ye drink your mother’s milk. ” said Downy. ” Tis unchristian ye are. Even God can never forgive ye”

”We did not shoot these men. Why would we deny it if we did it, None of our men patrolled towards Killarney yesterday. Ask anyone. No on will have seen any of our men in that direction yesterday.” said Louis.

”Well maybe they went in disguise” said Fr Downy.

”Look” said Louis. The bullets do not match. He took out a lose cartridge from his pouch. He held it near the entry wound on the boy’s skull. ”See the size and shape? Does not match. If you give permission we can dig the bullet out of his corpse. You will see that the bullet does not match RIC issue weapons.”

”I will not have you desecrate the corpses. The families have suffered enough” said Downy.

”Why not? Because you know we will be proved innocent. What makes you so sure that we killed them.” said Louis

”Everyone knows.” said Downy sounding irate.

”How does everyone know?” said Louis

”Because everyone does” Downy was livid

”How though/?” said Louis.

”They just do. ” said Downy.

”Ah come on. No one saw our men within miles of where they were shot. All our men can be accounted for and you blame us. It will have been brigands or the IRA.” said Louis.

”More lies. Now get out ENglish pigs.” said Downy with a slow hatred. There could be no rejoinder to that.

The two police officers realised that the clergymans bigotry was unshakeable; They did not attempt to persuade him to reconsider his adamant conviction that the RIC could not be innocent.  Louis affected superb indifference as they walked back to the door of the Church. It irked him that they should be false accused. He disliked being berated by the priest whom he knew to be the eyes and ears of the IRA. Why was Downy so anglophobic? Louis suspected that the priests pedigree was not so flawlessly Irish as he would have people believe.



Duncan McDowell was sitting up in his parlour one night with his sick infant daughter. The child should have been coming into the full Glory of her second year but was underdeveloped and unable to walk.

”Duncan” said his wife Cahalta ”Should take her to the doctor? This temperature is fierce high.” she said studying the thermometer with anxious solicitude.

”If it gets any higher we shall.” said Cahalta.

”I know we cannot afford it but this is Grainne’s life at stake” said Duncan.

They lived in a two bedroom house above the bakery in Ahakista. Just then there was a knock at the door.

”Vistors at this time of night?” said Cahalta. ”Doesn’t everyone know the child is ill?”

Duncan stood up. He wore a white shirt and charcoal grey trousers with braces. He was a lea man of 5’7” and had red skin which peeled badly. Duncan had milk jug ears and a faintly simian appearance. He spoke slowly and with a deep voice. ”Who can this be now?” with a worried tone. He opened the door of the parlour and went downstairs to the front door. There was no spy hole he regretted. He had heard of bad things happening to those who got a house call at midnight but that was only for isolated houses outside the village not on the main street. Why had he not looked out the window upstairs? He cursed himself for not thinking of it.

Duncan slowly opened the door. When it was no half way open it was shoved back. A rifle jabbed into his ribs, Duncan exhaled in shock and looked up to see a large man wearing a balaclava. Evil eyes blazed through the apertures in the wool.

”Out the fucking way. Get back” a Cork accent growled.

Duncan went white. He was too petrified to speak. Duncan was pushed over. Three more men stepped in and over him. The door was wide open and he saw several other men with guns and wearing balaclavas outside.

Duncan was pulled to his feet by a masked man. ”Up the fucking stairs. Make a sound and I will blow your head off.” The masked figure was Jim London. He turned Duncan around. The rifle was rammed into Duncan’s lower spine and he walked up the stairs in a state of terror.

Cahalta had got to her feet on hearing the ruckus. She was cradling the baby as she got the stairs and opened the door. She looked down the stairs to see her husband and the masked men behing him. She shrieked and almost fainted.

”Shut up ye bitch or I ‘ll kill the baby” London hissed. Cahalta retreated into the drawing room and sank into the sofa – too frightened to protest.

Duncan entered with the armed men behind him.

”Kneel down” said London sounding absolutely resolved to get his way. Duncan knelt and shook in fear.

Lynne also wearing a mask began to speak. ”McDowell – you have been selling bread to the RIC. That is helping the enemy. They been paying you. How much?”

”A pound a week.” said McDowell from trembling lips.

”A pound a week. That is good money on top of what you make out of the rest of your bakery business. The baker in Clountreem refused to supply the police last year. He is a good Irishman. The money you make is blood money. You will hand it over now.” said Lynne.

”It is mostly in the bank.” said McDowell

”We will take what you have now. You will withdraw it all from the bank tomorrow and give it to us. Not necessarily tomorrow night. We will not tell you when we are coming. Understand?” said London with unfailing menace.

”Yes, sir” said Duncan in abject surrender. He felt ashamed to behave like this in the presence of his wife. He shot a glance to his trembling wife. She silently wept and nodded. He took this as a signal to continue to submit. He was doing the right thing.

”Now where the fucking cash?” said London.

”Biscuit tin under the floorboards under the sofa.” said LcDowell knowing it was inadvisable to be obstinate.

London moved the sofa – Cahalta got up to make it easy. In a flash London had found the loose floorboard and the biscuit tin. He took out the banknotes and kissed them rubbing them over his balaclava. ”Beautiful money I love you.” said London.

Lynne continued ”Now McDowell today was the last day you will ever supply the RIC. If you sell so much as one crumb to the RIC we will shoot you dead”

”I want to shoot him right now boss” said London.

The woman wailed.

”No – no not today.” said Lynne.

McDowell almost lost control of his bowels when he heard what London had said. He shook and felt nauseous.

”Now teach this collaborating bastard a lesson. I will take your blood money” said Lynne as London handed him the cash.

London then used his rifle butt to hit McDowell in the stomach face and kidneys. McDowell used his hands to attempt to shield his softer parts;

” Move your fucking hands or you get more” London cried out in frustration.

London derived especial pleasure from hitting the man in his wedding tackle. McDowell then instinctively guarded that area and London did not bother ordering him to desist as he knew no man would comply with such a demand. He moved to hit McDowell in the back again. McDowell braced himself for yet more blows and they came. The report of them reverberatd around the room. His wife could not bear to look. She tried to contain her wailing lest it aggravate the raiders. Finally she broke her defensive barrier of silence.

”Ah stop don’t kill him” pleaded the woman

The noise brought their 8 year old daughter out of the bedroom. When she saw the masked men savagely beating her father she screamed and fainted.

After a minute McDowell felt almost number but woozy. They men hurried off.

”Let’s go now” said Lynne

”But I am not finished. I want to beat him half to death. ” said London

”Ah no we are in a village peelers might come” said Lynne

The armed men hurried off into the night whooping about another resounding Victory for Ireland.

McDowell had managed not to pass out. He tried not to attach a personal significance to the beating. It was just about bread.  His wife almost swooned with grief.



Next day an RIC patrol on a horse drawn cart came to Ahabeg. Louis and three others were there. They drew up at McDowell’s bakery.

The 40 year old baker was in his shop. Louis blanched to see the man’s face so badly bruised he looked like a panda. The shop was in obvious disarray. The baker was usually fastidious about tidying it.

”What happened to you?” said Louis.

”A little disagreement” he croaked through broken lips.  He wanly smiled – several teeth were missing.

Louis perceived it was more serious.

”Can we have our order?” he asked more in hope than expectation.

”Ah no sorry. I no longer sell to the RIC” said Duncan.

”What? You have supplied the barracks for a year.” said Louis

”Well I no longer do.” said Duncan meekly.

”What? We need our bread.” said Louis  with a little self pity.

”Listen please leave my shop right now or I will be killed” said Duncan pleadingly.

”What? Oh my God. The IRA?” Louis asked sounding disturbed.

Duncan nodded silently and turned away.

”Who was it? Which ones? Where can we find the bastards who…” said Louis his face gurning into fury.

Duncan turned back to Louis with tears in his eyes. ”this is private property. Now get out – invader!”

Louis stared in silence for a moment. He nodded sympathetically and then left the shop. He explained the situation to his comrades. They responded with muteness.  Louis wondered how the IRA could be so elaborately unconscious to the suffering they were causing; Were they marginally better than the Kaiser? Would it not be a public relations catastrophe for the IRA. a DECENT man, a Catholic had been severely beaten for Nothing?  The victims role in life had been a baker not a combatant.

A horse in full harness ridden by one of he lesser IRA men cantered by; The rider was glad not to be recognised by the RIC.



”Who can be responsible for this?” said Bulkely. ”You must have names? Who is in your files? The IRA are running rings around us? We cannot have them outsmart us? A few guttersnipes.”

Sergeant Moore scatched his balding pate.

”Sir, yes we have some names on file. If there is any trouble Lynne is sure to be at the centre of it.”

”Lynne. You have mentioned him before. Who is he again?” said Bulkeley.

”He is the principal of the national school. Head of the IRB as was his father before him.” said Moore.

”IRB is that the same as the IRA?” said Moore/

”No not exactly. It predates the IRA and exists within the IRA. A group within a group.” He tried to hide his exasperation that his superior did not know such things.

”Well then we go and lift him” said Bulkeley.

”Ah no sir that will inflame the situation.” said Moore anxiously.

”Moore – the IRA is raiding houses every night. Inflame the situation? The IRA are the inflammators. Robbing people – beating them within an inch of their lives. No more of this softly softly approach. We tried that before. I daresay if we had given the IRA what for when first we arrived we would not have had this horlicks going on now; ” said Bulkely with irritation.

”Captain Bulkely – if we arrest Lynne the whole district will be against us.” said Moore.

”Most of them are against us already. You said it yourself. This is a hotbed of IRA activity. Anyway if the IRA was that popular they would not feel compelled to rob people. People would donate. They would not have to rule through fear by beating people half to death. We arrest Lynne. Which other houses should we search?” said Bulkeley;

”I recommend Harrington’s but one thing sir – remember do not let Lupton be privy to anything. I do not trust him entirely.” said Moore

”Well why not dismiss him from the force? ” said Bulkeley

”Ah well now sir we cannot dismiss a man on suspicion alone. There is the presumption of innocence sir.” said Moore

”We do not need proof positive. Well do you trust him or don’t you?” asked Bulkeley

”Um well I do.” said Moore

”Then what are you being so silly about?  He is on the force. That is it.” said Bulkeley.

Moore wanted to ask what if the man really turned out to be an enemy agent but then he judged it wiser not to pry into contingency plans.




The boys had all left Clountreem national school. The white washed school building stood on a hill above the church. A dovecote stood at one corner of it. 4 RIC officers arrived up. There would be no chance of the IRA evanescing  on the RICH s approach this time.

Lynne sat in his office. He smoked his pipe as he marked copy books. Lynne thought of stories about a satyr he could read his children that night. He heard the cleaner shouting in the hallway as she mopped the floor.

Lynne tutted. Was one of the schoolboys coming back in to cause trouble? He got to his feet and walked to the door. Lynne opened the door of his office and onto the entrance hall. He was stunned to see four RIC officer approach. He had heard rumours that the RIC raided schools elsewhere but he assumed them to be unfounded.

Louis, David, Lumley and March approached.

*Lynne suddenly felt unwell. For a moment he was seized by an uncharacteristic reticence. But he gathered himself.

Lynne conquered his fear. He then called out in faux indignation:”What is the meaning of this barging into my school?”

David called out ”Lynne? You are under arrest on suspicion of membership of the Irish Volunteers. ”

Lynne stood there for a moment – in shock. He had imagined it was a mere question they wished to ask. March walked behind him and grabbed his arms. Lumley got out his handcuffs and handcuffed the principal.

They bundled him towards the door. ”At least let me get my coat.” said Lynne. He felt indigestion coming on; Was that acid reflux?

”No forget it. You never let men get their coats when you beat them to a pulp” said David acidulously.

Lynne turned to Lumley and said sourly ”How can you do this? Work for the English? Aren’t you an Irishman?”

The words had no effect. Lumley looked dead ahead. The put a rag in Lynne’s mouth. The humiliation irked him sore. Lynne was heavy and unused to walking fast. Soon he was puffing and perspiring rapidly. They got him into the station.

Lynne was led into a cell. He was then blindfolded and his clothes were taken off.

Short was brought in. Louis stood by to take notes.

”All right Lynne” said Short caustically ”What do you fucking now? Where the guns?”

”I don’t know about any guns.” said Lynne.

”Don’t give me that bullshit Lynne” he screamed into Lynne’s ear. Lynne quaked. He felt his heart racing. Short paused and said with a slow menace ”You tell me where the guns is hidden or you can die right now; I hate teachers more than any other fucker in the world.”

Short had a revolver. He opened it and removed a bullet. He took Lynne’s hand still handcuffed behind him and placed a bullet in his fingers.

”Feel that bullet Lynne?” said Short savouring the stress he was causing his prisoner.

”Yes” said Lynne struggling not to panic.

“That one got your name on it. Got that,” said Short slowly and growlingly.

Short took the bullet back. He then snapped his revolver shut. It was unloaded but Lynne did not know that. Short then pressed his revolver into Lynne’s hand.

”You feel that revolver?” Short hissed deeply.

”Yes” said Lynne meekly trying not cry. He had to admit he was not been dealt with unreasonably given what his men had done.

”Right ” said Short removing the revolver from Lynne’s hand. He then pressed the revolver to Lynne’s temple.

”You got ten seconds to tell me where the guns is hidden. I can’t count slowly . With me it is like – onetwothreefourfive!” he screamed.

”Ok I will tell you I will tell you” Lynne yelled in panic. ”Sweet hillocks. There is a camp there. Some are buried in a box in the unbaptised graveyard. ”

Louis quickly noted that down. He had not expected a concession so soon.

”Say that again” said Short. Lynne repeated himself.

”Lynne we are going to check. If you have been lying to us you are a dead man. I swear to God. I will cut you to pieces with my bayonet and take pleasure in it. You got that Lynne?” said Short

”I got that” Lynne said trying not to wet himself.

”Where exactly in Sweet Hillocks?” said Short

”Bridget’s bothy.” said Lynne;

”Bridget’s brothel? Do not fuck me about” said Short mystified

” No bothy not brothel” said Lynne almost annoyed at his interrogators lack of lexis.

”Yes” Lynne confirmed.

With that they slammed the cell door and locked it. Louis felt that death threats were unethical but from the standpoint of finding caches they were effectual : he acknowledged that to himself.

Short hurried downstairs to Bulkeley ”Sweet Hillocks and the unbaptised cemetery.”

”Right. Short – Limtay, David, North, Lumley and March” you go to Sweet Hillocks right now. If there are IRA men hiding that is where they would be.”

”That is right sir” said Moore ” tis thick woods.”

Bulkeley continued ”get there fast before they can move arms. If you see a horse and trap on the road – commandeer it. Have them transport you.”

Short and his men hastened out. They quick marched onto the square and down the road in the direction of Sweet Hillocks.

”Bridget’s bothy . you know where that is Lumley?” said Short

”Er no I don’t” he said unconvinvingly.

”You are our guide. You served here for years.” said Short

”Ah well yes but I am not from here. They always move us from our native county.” said Lumley

”You are bloody useless you thick Mick” said Short. ”Even I know where Sweet Hillocks is and I been here a month”

Just then a man with a pony and trap approached going in the opposite direction.


”Hey stop” said Short levelling his rifle. The man looked very frightened. He pulled his pony to a halt and sweated profusely. ”dEFEnce of the realm act” said Short ” we needs you trap. Now boys get on. Turn around Paddy. Drive us to sweet hillocks right now.”

The six men clambered aboard. The pony and trap only sat 3 of them. The others clung on. The pony and trap made it slowly up the hill to where Sweet Hillocks lay – to the left of the main road.

The RIC men jumped off the pony and trap. ”Wait right there or there will be hell to pay” said Short. He stared at him threateningly. The man had not said a word since he had seen short. He nodded and cowered.

Short led the others tearing off into the woods. They jogged – they were elated. At last they were taking the fight to the enemy. Seize weapons. WOuld there be shooting? There was hardly time to consider it. Adrenaline was pumping. Lumley looked ever more nervous.

Louis glimpsed Lumley. Was he to be mistrusted? Could be just the fear of going into combat. He had been shot at by the IRA before so his anxiety was to be expected. Louis had been shot at before too. What the hell was he doing going back into combat he asked himself.

They saw a small boy standing in the woods. He blew a whistle and ran off.

”Hey you what you doing?” Short shouted. The barefoot boy was perhaps 10 years of age. He looked like a very neglected child with dishevelled hair and stains o his face; his clothes were almost falling apart.  He scampered into the bushes. ” where the fuck you going?”

”We go after him?” said Louis tentatively.

”No find this fucking Bridget;’s bothy” said Short  insistently- ”spread out a big long line. 20 yards between us. The men spread up. The going was slow up the steep mossy banks. There were boulders and the trees were sometimes to thick as to make the woods impassable – they had to change course. They heard the boy blast on his whistle several more times.

It took a good 20 minutes of going through the woods before they saw a shed. By this time Short had soaked himself to the knees in a bog.

They saw Bridget’s bothy with a campfire still burning inside. There were cigarette butts around and spent shell casings. There was a fowling piece abanoned.

”Right boys wits about; you the IRA must be here.”, said Short

They approached gingerly – eyes peeled. They got up to the bothy.

Short then fired three shots through the open door. The shots echoed but there was no response. Short then burst in the door.

There was no one. It was a dishevelled interior – there were cups of teas – plates full of half eaten food

”Fuckers just got away. That kid tipped the off. Little toe rag. Fuck!”, Short cursed.

”At least we got this” said Louis picking up the fowling piece ”They ran so fast they left it behind.” He was vaguely disappointed not to have fought the enemy. On the other hand he was glad not to have a bullet in his hide.

”’Yeah a hundred years old looks like. Good for shooting birds not much else” said Short caustically.

”The rebels could have ambushed us here. This was there best chance but the cowards decided to Scapa Flow” said Louis.

”That is the Irish for you” said Short ”Fucking yellow bellies.”

Louis was woried that Short might succumb to the temptation to go deeper into the woods to hunt his quarry. Louis had faced quite enough danger for one day. He did not want to chase the IRA somewhere the IRA had an advantage.

”Look that” said Lumley ”a cow’s skeleton.”

”Quite a banquet they must have had.” said Louis.

”A banquet – what the fuck is that.?” asked Short.

”A big meal” said Louis.

”Will you look at that?” said Short ”horse cobblers and hoofprints. The bastards got horses and all. I heard some horses got nicked last week. Now the rebels got cavalry.”

In an unasked for move Short decided they would retreat/ Louis hid his delight.

They sauntered back to the pony and trap. The man had not dared moved. He looked at them nervously.

”Take us the other way around;” said Short ”IRA may have a welcoming committee waiting for us if we go back the way we came.”

”But that is the long way” said the man

”I don’t bloody care. Do as you are fucking told” he screamed

”Yes, sir” said the man resignedly; He felt humiliated.

”Sir” Short chuckled at being addressed like and officer. ”Now to the unbaptised graveyard.” he said sternly.

The reached it and went to a nearby cottage. The commandeered some spades. They walked t the graveyard and say a cat sticking its forepaws into the damp soil which seemed very odd.  They dug with them. The turned up only mostly old infant’s skeletons. There was a patch of freshly turned earth. They came on a long metal box. They opened it up to find two rifles – both well oiled and in excellent condition and 50 rounds of ammunition.

”Quite a find” said Louis; His mental comment was that the IRA was finished in the district.

”Bingo” said Short

”It is great like” said Lumley feigning gladness.

”What the hell is an unbaptised graveyard? How is it not just a fucking graveyard?” said Short.

”It is for stillborn babies” said March ”they cannot be buried in consecrated ground because they were not baptised.”

”What the fuck is consecrated?” said Short scowling.

”You know – hold. A cemetery blessed by a priest” March explained.

”Cemetery? Why you use all these big words. Fancy talk. What the fuck!” said Short scowling. ”Stillborn whatever that means.”

”The children are in spiritual limbo. Stillborn means they were born dead.” said March gravely.

”A bit cruel on the parents to say that the babies are in limbo forever” said Louis ” causing grieving parents even more grief. WHy not just say the innocent infants go to heaven? The babies never harmed anyone. Sinless.”

”Excuse me it is my faith so don’t criticise it” said March.

”Oh sorry I forgot you are a Catholic” said Louis ”Fine. Believe what you like. I respect it”, Louis said with soft sincerity.

”Let’s scarper back to the barracks in case the fucking IRA here we is here and come for us” said Short.

”Better put the skeletons bad – fill in the graves” said Louis.

”Fuck that” said Short ”we don’t got time. Get out of here.”

”I am doing it” said Louis ” no sense in aggravating the locals. We need their co operation.” He began his work immediately.

”Co operation? Half of them is in the IRA. The others is the eyes and ears of the IRA”

”We cannot leave these skeletons around” said Louis. Some foetuses’ cadavers were in shoe boxes.

‘Hurry the fuck up” Short was shouting and started walking for the pony and trap. The other RIC men followed him.

Louis worked urgently. Within a minute the few corpses were back in the ground. Then he ran after the others and hopped onto the pony and trap as it began to move. Louis leapt lightly onto it too. He had a long formed theory that an unbaptised baby was saved anyway. His mature deliberation on God made him believe that a merciful God would not punish an embryo: ; These babies souls had taken wing before they had time to transgress.

The men arrived back to the station in high spirits. As they approached the door Bulkeley was speaking to Moore in the day room.

”Why did you not arrest Lynne months ago?” said Bulkeley

”He is a very respected figure as principal of the national school. I did not wish to inflame the situation.” said Moore

”You mean you did not even question him?” said Bulkeley

”Ah he came voluntarily when we invited him to interview a few times but we got nothing out of him.” said Moore

”You did not – apply pressure?” said Bulkeley

”Yerra I am willing to bend the rules. If the suspect is a man with previous convictions yes. If there is a burglary and I know that some tike is guilty of course I will knock him around a bit so he talks but with Lynne I could not do that. He is too popular.” said Moore.

”Even after your colleague was murdered?” said Bulkeley

”By that stage we could hardly leave the station. We could only have three men go out at a time. We could not arrest Lynne because we might be ambushed if we went that far from the station. By the way he is not the real troublemaker. The real chief of the IRA in this barony is Jim London and everyone knows it. He has been on the run for a year.” said Moore

”Have you made no arrests since the IRA started shooting over a year ago?” said Bulkeley

”Yes we have sir. I arrested a couple of men for illegal drilling. They are interned up in Ballykinlar.” said Moore

”Not tried?” said Bulkeley

”No sir. The courts are swamped with cases. Impossible to get juries to convict. IRA men are just interned under Defence of the Realm Act.” said Moore

With that the six men from the pony and trap came in through the door.

”Success’ said Short jubilantly. ”We got three IRA firearms”

”Well done lads” said Bulkeley – his face lighting up.

”We found their camp but the wretches had all gone” said Lumley. ”Sweet Hillocks.”

”Oh good” said Bulkeley. ”Get to work on that Lynne fellow. He may prove to be a veritable mine of information!”

”Please may I sir?” said Short in supplication. ”I do so enjoy work of that kind sir?”

”All right” said Bulkeley ”But do not knock him about too badly.”

”I shan’t sir” said Short grinning eagerly.

”Now you are shit. We need someone to be sugar should that be required. That will be you Limtay”

”Yes, sir” said Louis coming to attention. ”Now he is not to see your face Short. David – you go and blindfold the blackguard.

”Sir” said David affirmatively.

David entered the cell. Lynne was sitting on the floor with his hands still handcuffed behind his back and stark naked. He could not move his bulk without his hands so he had wet himself where he sat.

”Yerra would you be taking the handcuffs off they are pinching awful sore – please sir” said Lynne.

”You can fucking forget it? What should I do a good turn for a bastard who murders my comrades?” said David;

Lynne could think of no reason why David should oblige him. David then put a blindfold over Lynne’s face and walked out leaving the door open.

Short stepped in. Limtay came in silently with pad and pencil.

Short knelt down to Lynne’s ear level and said sibilantly ”Hello, hello, hello”

Lynne shuddered and tried vainly to shuffle away.

”Nice to see you again me old mucker” Short giggled ”Now me china. You told us where the guns is and we got them. Not a very good soldier are you? Call yourself a soldier? Fucking coward. Gave in straight away you big girl’s blouse. You lost we won and that is the way it is always going to be. Now we got your cache. A lot of rifles. Killed a few of your mates. All your fucking fault. You lost. You lost admit it!”

”We did not lose” Lynne stammered. He did not believe his own words. He wanted to quote Pearse ; not fighting would be to lose; But somehow it did not seem quite the right time to treat them to a defiant speech from the dock:

”You fucking lost. Your cause is lost. Now tell us where the rest of your mates is hiding or things will get nasty” said Short.

”I will tell you nothing. But you already has. Now if you do not help us we will hand you over to the IRA. You just caused the death of several of your pals.” said Lynne;

Lynne shook. He believed what SHort was telling him. It was all too credible that the RIC had found Bridget’s Bothy and surprised the IRA. Lynne knew that unarmed scouts kept watch and a sentry was always post but these people were lax.

”I will tell you fuck all.” said Lynne.

”Fuck all mind your language you dirty Irish pig” said Short.

Lynne bristled at his race being insulted. He had recovered from the shock and dejection of being arrested. But the guilt of his comrades being killed because of his feebleness was weighing on his mind.

”Fuck off” said Lynne.

”All right then” said Short. He punched Lynne in the face. Lynne rolled backwards. Short took a tea towel and dipped it in the pool of Lynne’s urine.

”I see you pissed yourself in fear you fucking baby. Look at your cock. So small no wonder you missus is sad.” Short chortled. He punched Lynne again and then pressed his torso down so Lynne lay on his back. Short took the urine soaked tea towel and rubbed it into Lynne’s face and mouth whilst kneeling on Lynne’s chest.

Lynne writhed and tried to scream. The stench and the lack of air disturbed him. His chest was heaving. After 20 seconds Short relented.

”Tell us where your safe houses is.” said Short.

Lynne took a while to get his breath. Short sensed that Lynne was feigning longer to get his breath back than he really needed.

”Tell me now or I punch you again. And no air.” said Short

Lynne continued sucking in lungfuls of air . He realised he needed all the oxygen he could get as Short would deprive him of air again. Short ran out of patience. He punched Lynne on the mouth again. Lynne rolled backwards. Short knelt on his chest and covered the man’s face with the urine soaked cloth. Lynne’s hands were being crushed under his weight. His distress as the air supply being cut off meant he hardly noticed the pain in his hands

”Where is your men hiding? Tell us now or you never breath again!” said Short grimly. After 30 seconds he got off Lynne’s chest.

Lynne lay there panting – he recovered a little. ”Tell us now or this time I suffocate you.. You is of no use to me. You tell me right now or I kill you? Why should I keep an IRA bastard like you alive? Tell me now!” he shouted.

Lynne said nothing. Short hit him again – this time with unfeigned fury. But he knocked Lynne out. Lynne;s head bounced off the stone floor.

”Oh shit you have not killed him have you?” said Louis.

”No I hasn’t” said Short with his hand by Lynne’s mouth ”I is feeling his breath”

”Ok let me handle this.” said Louis

”All right” said Short heading out of the cell.

Louis used a bucket of water to revive Lynne. Lynne woke up seconds later.

”Sorry about that” said Louis  removing Lynne’s blindfold.

Lynne was blinking. He could not believe an Englishman in RIC uniform was being kind to him. Lynne sat up.

”Let me take your handcuffs off” said Louis going around to the rear. He unlocked the handcuffs. Lynne moved his hands. He twitched his fingers. It felt good to have the blood flowing properly to his digits after a few hours.

”How are you mate?” said Louis ”My name is Jack” he extended his hand.

Lynne was taken aback and could not but shake hands. He then realised he was doing something he shouldn’t but Lynne could not help liking this man.

”Sorry about that other fellow” said Louis ”What a bastard. Everyone dislikes him. I will protect you from him but you got to help me to help you all right?”

”All right” said Lynne – feeling the bruises on his face.

”Yeah he hurt you bad. What a swine? You want a doctor? If you co operate I can get you a doctor.” said Louis

”Yes please Jack” said Lynne

”All right. Just a few questions. I mean I am sorry about this war.” said Louis

Lynne was astonished an Englishman was calling it a war.

”Yes I am sorry for it too”’ said Lynne with uncharacteristic meekness.

”I want this bloody war to end. But we need you to help us. I am half Irish. I admire you guys. I am a Catholic so one of you guys really. I admired the IRA – your heroism. You are really skilled fighters. But we got to end the fighting. Want a cigarette?” said Louis

”Yes please” said Lynne circumspectly.

Louis got out a woodbine and gave it to Lynne. He lit it for him. Louis lit one for himself.

”Sorry I will give your clothes back in a minute. So – we are not after you. You are a teacher. I used to be one. A  noble profession. I want to let you go back to your wife and kids. It is not you we want but Jim London. I heard he is an arsehole. He killed the police not you. So you help us and we let you go. SOund like a deal?” said Louis

”Sounds like a deal.” said Lynne

”Good so where is Jim London.” said Luis

”Not at Bridget’s Bothy?” said Lynne

”We tried there – shot dead several guys but he was not there. Must have bolted the bastard. I am sorry we had to shoot. I really am. We called on them to surrender but they shot back. What were we supposed to do? I admired the courage. Died like heroes.” said Louis

Lynne looked down and winced. Some of his comrades died because of his loose tongue.

”I know how you feel. You let the side down. But you had to talk. ANyone would have. That bastard threatened you with death. You did well to hold out so long. Just tell me now and we will arrest those fellows not shoot them. I promise. We have all their guns so they will just  come quietly. You are a real hero. You will be saving their lives if you tell us. If not well it will be up to that other fellow. That bastard is a real barbarian. Knows no mercy.” Siad Louis

”Ok I will tell you but you have to promise not to harm them.” said Lynne

”I promise no harm will come to them.” said Louis

”All right” said Lynne ”The safe house they will probably go to it 13 Stream Street Ahabeg.”

”13 Stream Street/” said Louis

”Yes, that’s right.” SAID Lynne

”Can you write that down for me?” Louis asked handing Lynne a pad and pencil.

Lynne wrote quickly.

”Put IRA address. ” said Louis.

”All right – IRA address” said Lynne as he wrote.

”If not where else will they be?” said Louis

”Maybe is Mooney’s. It is a farmhouse a fe miles east of Clountreem.” SAID lYNNE

”Mooney’s?” said Louis

”Yes everyone in that district know’s Mooney’S. The only Mooney’s for miles around. They live half a mile uphill from Sean’s Cross. ” said Lynne

”Write that down” said Louis

Lynne scribbled quickly.

”Any more addresses.” said Lynne.

”No those are the only ones that have not been compromised or else they have fled to Kerry or out of this battalion area.” said Lynne

”All right thanks very much mate. I will see what I can do to protect you from that other lunatic. ” said Louis

Louis stood up and threw Lynne his clothes. ”I better go and get your mates before harm comes to them.” Louis took the note pad.

”Guard open this door” said Louis

Short took care to remain hidden as he unlocked and open the door. Louis hurried out. Short slammed and locked the door

Lynne began to wonder if he had been startlingly naive.

”When do I get let out?” he cried as the footsteps retreated down the stairs.






The RIC brought their prisoner up to the cell. They unlocked the door and flung him in.

Lynne was sitting on the bed. He smiled to have company. Then he reflected that it was another blow to the IRA that the police had caught yet another IRA man.

The IRA man looked demoralised and disoriented. Lynne uttered words of defiance ”Up the long ladder/ Down the long rope/ To hell with King Billy/ And God bless the pope.”




About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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