- Jim London. (JIM LSJ) ex soldier wants to be hangman. socialist. ———–
2. Vinny Conlan (Vinny Cochrane) actor. brainy. inquisitive. ———-
3. Gerry Nagle (G Nagle) insurance company salesman. conman.
4. William Hendricks. (Wesley Hendricks) builder. cousin killed in Easter Rising. ——–
5. Peter Lynne (Pearse Lynne) teacher——– Arrested.
6. Jonathan Wynn (Jonathon Roberts) painter and decorator. granny died in famine. hates blacks. ———————
7. Pascal Harrington (Causkey) labourer. arrested after riot.
8. Alex East (Alex Asgari) labourer. Pal murdered by UPA. Arrested ————
9. Damian Walsh (D W) farmer. arrested ————————–
10. Roger Tooth (Roger Tooth) travelling salesman robber
11. Robert Johnson (J Roberts univ) chemist. Shot dead in grenade attack.
12. Laurence Dale. (aMpleforth ex soldier teacher) ex soldier. shot dead in grenade attack.
13. Sean Tussock (Zhangir T) coal importer’s son
14. Niall Tussock (Nurzhan) coal importer’s son
15. Henry Tussock (uncle Hal) coal importer
16. Gabriel Tussock (coal importer)
17. Charles Williams (Will Charles) solicitor’s clerk. Irish lang enthusiast——- arrested
18. Benedict Thompson (B Thompson) solicitor’s clerk. GAA——-
19. Kenneth Adams. ( A K ) farmer. religious reactionary——-
20. Michael English (Magnus) labourer. tags along. feeble. becomes informer
21. Seamus Simons (Simon I F ) barman————————-
22. Henry Brannock ( Henry W B) labourer.
RIC FROM GREAT BRITAIN
- 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.. Shot dead. ——————
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- Shot dead. ————————————
11. Richard chemistry pilot. Older officer. Richard Dixon. Suffolk.——————————
12. Louis Limtay. Born 1890. protagonist.—————————————————-
13. Williams Bulkeley. William Bulkeley. shot dead.
14. Blairmore teacher. Blair Teacher anti Catholic. Scots. sacked ——————————
LOCAL R I C
- N Lupton. Mayo. Nick Lumley. spy.. wounded in chest————————–
2. Anthony FitzPatrick. Midlands. Tony FitzGerald. wounded in hand
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———————————
BLACK AND TANS CHAPTER 20. Detonation
Downy hides detonators – Meagher tells RIC – tampering – Thompson killed –
Downy said mass for the IRA in a rookery on the mountain.
Afterwards they sat down for a meal of stolen mutton.
Fr Downy and Commandant Jim London sat on a table away from the others in token of their superior status.
London said ” Fr Downy that was a beautiful mass. We need it for morale.”
”Thank you Commandant. I puts steel in the soul of your soldiers” said Downy with satisfaction
”You know my battalion are all religious men. I would not have a Prod about the place” said London.
”Good. Keep it that way. I cannot believe some IRA units allow Orangemen in them. These Orangies cannot be trusted. You never know when a dirty Prod dog is going to betray you to his English master. Prods are basically Brits you know” said Fr Downy.
”We are not doing so well. In other parts of the county we are giving the Black and Tans hell. That Bulkeley fella say what you like about him but he was a brave soldier” said London
”Well I am glad he is dead. I am happy that it was you who shot him. He was in a car with a Prod whore. No doubt committing fornication. It is good you killed him before they could breed more Orangies.” said Downy
”No father – this Workman bastard is also fierce cute. He launches his razzias. He has us on the run. Very energetic. They have their spies. We are trying to root out touts and informers. If you hear anything in confession you will tell us won’t you?” asked London
”Commandant – there is the seal of the confessional but there is a higher moral duty. This is a sacred cause. Any informer is bound for the devil. I will report them to you. You shoot them and God will forgive them” said Fr Downy “It is an act of mercy. You punish them on Earth and maybe the Most High will let them off with a few thousand years in Purgatory.”
”We are saving them by killing them” said London
”Exactly” said Downy ”it is a theological certainty. I can vow not to reveal what they say in the confession box but I practise mental reservation. I just do not say – I will not say anything to Fr Meagher. I keep the to Fr Meagher bit silent. Casuistry is allowed by the holy office” said the priest. “In the Thirty Years War when we battled the Prods in Europe that was the way. Kill the heretics now to spare them suffering in hell; Got to be cruel to be kind with these British”
”Very good. There is another thing – Workman is raiding our hiding places. He burnt the creamery. He has burnt houses where wanted men are found or we hide arms.” said London ”When he raids our camps we can get out in time. We have the Fianna Eireann blow their whistles. Our sentinel loose off a few shots – makes the Black and Tans stop in their tracks. We can get out of it before the Black and Tans close in. But sometimes in our haste to get the hell out of their we have left behind weapons. We have some very precious weapons. I do not mind losing a shot gun or even a rifle that much. But detonators we cannot easily replace. Worth their weight in gold. Can you hide them in the presbytery?”
”I can of course. It is a moral imperative. I would hide wanted men but I am afraid that pig Meagher would inform. He is more loyalist than the king. I am surprised Meagher is not Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland!” said Downy
”If it were not for the dog collar on his neck I would have shot him long ago” said London
”I wish you would” said Fr Downy. ”He is a betrayer of the faith”
London then handed him a metal box.
”There are detonators in there. Be very careful with them now. I will let you know when we need them back” said London
”They will be safe with me boy” said Downy. “And just remember never trust a Prod. They are not going to fight against their own people;”
They then joined the rest of the men
Adams was in full spate ” I do not like Apprentice Boys, Orange boys, Jewboys or Freemasons. We will drive the out of Ireland as St Patrick drove out the serpent. There is a Masonic Lodge on Tuckey Street in Cork. When we are free that will go. Holy Ireland will be a pure Catholic nation. Catholic Ireland will not tolerate plotters in our midst. The Freemasons are a lot of conspirators. What do they do in their? Black mass and orgies – human sacrifice. It is a worldwide conspiracy. We will purge ourselves of the enemy within. The English have Lord Rothschild as their court Jew. It is an international global conspiracy of Jews and Masons against Catholic civilisation. No more English pornography. The Brits have declared war on the Catholic family. wITH THeir divorce contraception; abortion, opium and the white slave trade. The English are race mixers. They are alcoholics and they call us drunken. They accuse us of their own worst vices. What alcoholism there is in Ireland is due to them. The English trade in white slaves. They are pimps and whores. Filthy English with their divorce and naked photos. The English have syphilis. Many of their slum dwellers have rickets. They are a lot of cowards. Only way an English soldier advances is behind an Irish soldier. You saw that Traitors’ Gate in Dublin for the Irishmen who fought in South Africa? Poor dupes who fought for the English. The English wanted the Dutch in South Africa to give the vote to the blackies. The blackies are only just down from the trees. They are doing it as soon as they have hair down there. They are uncivilised. The Dutch are Catholics. That is why William of Orange ran away like. There is a new Catholic movement in Italy; the fascisti. They are going to save us from the Prods and Marxists ”
They others were bored by his rant. Some had noticed his very tenuous grasp of history. Some of them wanted to biff this religiously fixed fanatic.
Fr Downy rode his horse back to the presbytery. There was a road block on the way. He looked uncharacteristically timid. He looked away and Moore was a little suspicious but did not search him. Searching a priest was unthinkable.
Downy then decided to hide the detonators. Not in his room. What if they did search his place? He did not put it past Workman to do that one day. Therefore Downy went into the drawing room. Sports magazines. That as the one thing that fat old Meagher would never pick up. He put the box beneath a pile of those. The police would look in difficult crannies. These things were so badly hidden they would not bother to look there. If they were found Downy could blame the housekeeper. She was a woman of outspoken republican beliefs. She had verbally abused Workman. It was all too credible that she was the one who placed the detonators there.
Downy then read up on GAA results. He was a renowned expert on GAA statistics. He contented himself with the thought that an ally of his was being promoted to the episcopate soon. Before long he might have Meagher dispatched to an uncharted mosquit ridden swamp in the Amazon to bring the blessed sacraments to the heathen there.
IN THE CONFESSION BOX
Moore went to confession as was now his wont on a weekly basis. He entered the confession box that he knew was occupied by Fr Meagher.
Moore knelt on the leather pillow and lowered his gaze. He uttered the customary overture, ”Bless me father for I have sinned.”
”What is the nature of your sin my child?” said Meagher. Meagher used to find it curious and droll to call someone older than himself ‘Child’ though in this case it was not as odd. He and Moore were about the same age. Meagher saw who it was
”Father, I have entertained thoughts of impurity and unchastity. I have had unchristian thoughts about my enemies” said Moore. Meagher remembered that Moore was obsessed with containing these iniquitous thoughts.
Father Meagher wrestled a carefully written piece of paper out of his inner pocket.
”You will find this tract most helpful in overcoming your iniquity” said Meagher knowingly.
Moore did not study it but hastily stuffed this bulletin in his pocket. He carried on with an anodyne confession. Moore fidgeted with his much chewed pipe as he mumbled of his transgressions and sins of omission. He was sure not to make it unusually long or short. He received absolution that he had implored, blessed himself and was on his way.
Meagher thought it best not to verbalise the information he had lest somehow some sharp eared person overhear his revelations.
Moore bent his steps to the station. Only once in the station did he take the piece of paper out of his pocket and cast his eyes over it. ”Detonators hidden in the presbytery” was the phrase that jumped out at him. He went to Workman.
Meanwhilst Fr Meagher continued reading T S Elliott’s ouevre until the next penitent pleaded for forgiveness.
”Sir, I think you had better take a look at this” he said in Workman’s room.
Workman took the note in hand and looked at it. He tried to stifle his surprise and satisfaction but could not.
”We’ve got them. Know where the detonators are” said Workman ”Seems this priest fellow is helping us. So we raid the presbytery right now and arrest Downy”
”No sir” said Moore a little too insistently. He saw Workman frown at this lack of deference. ”Sir with respect, I think that would go down very badly indeed. Priests are never arrested in Ireland not matter what they have done. We do not want the whole parish protesting outside the station. Even the Catholic Unionists would turn against us. It would test the loyalty even of RIC men”. Moore had found it his constant duty to guide Englishmen and Protestants in the RIC away from offending Catholic sensibilities.
”Moore. I am the officer here. You are too circumspect. I need to shake things up. Downy is guilty. His fingermarks will be on the detonators. We then burn the presbytery to prevent it being use to hide weapons again” said Workman
”Sir – with the greatest of respect that would be a recipe for disaster” said Moore in alarm ”Priests are exalted in Ireland. We cannot touch them”. Moore was sweating. he could imagine the town in feverish revolt at the arrest of the Lord’s annointed.
”Downy is no longer a priest. He is an IRA quartermaster” said Workman firmly. “He has taken sides in this conflict;3
”Sir, I will obey your orders of course but I cannot be held responsible for what will happen if we arrest Fr Downy and burn down the presbytery. I plead with you. You are an excellent officer but sir I know more about Ireland than you do. This will really backfire. Do we have to arrest him? Is there nothing else we can do?” said Moore clearly in dismay
Workman noticed Moore’s distress. He slanted his head and paused. Then he said ”That gives me an idea. Let’s be having these detonators. We can doctor them.”
”Doctor them?” said Moore perplexed
”Yes, I am rather good with explosives. I can tamper then. Normally a detonator is attached to a bomb. A timer is set or else it is exploded by a plunger and wire. But if I tamper with the detonators the moment it is attached to the bomb it goes up in the bombmaker’s face. Give those IRA clowns a taste of their own medicine” said Workman.
”That is a much better idea” said Moore breathing a right of relief.
”Hopefully we get several of those IRA jokers at once. Well if Fr Downy is handling the bomb and he gets blown up by it then it jolly well serves him right. As a priest he should have nothing whatsoever to do with bombs in the first place” said Workman
”Can’t argue with that” said Moore looking happy. If Downy died when his own bomb went off then the RIC would not be blamed. That did not seem as bad as a priest having his collar felt. Workman thought what cant it was. He recalled hearing something about Catholicism and casuistry. Moore was a faithful child of the church. He would kill a priest but not give him a few years at His Majesty’s Pleasure? It was all about appearance. Such hypocrisy. There was no sense is trying to reason with such people. It could all be sorted out by some Latin incantations no doubt.
Later Workman summoned MacDonnell in.
”MacDonnel you are a Catholic aren’t you?” said Workman
”Yes, sir. How do you know?” said MacDonnell;
”You go to mass. Anyway I have seen your file. Right MacDonnell you are to go to confession today.” said Workman.
”Confession, sir? I had me first communion and confirmation but I am not that religious like. I only go to confession once a year because I have to. What have I done? Do we have a dangerous mission coming up?” MacDonnell said looking anxious.
”MacDonnell – never you mind why. You just go and confession whatever.” said Workman imperiously.
”Sir, I respect you of course but when I confess is a matter for me sir. No one can order me to go to confession particularly a Protestant. You do not even have confession” said Workman.
”MacDonnell – you shall do as I say. I do not care sixpence what you confess” he took an envelope from his pocket. ”You must go to Fr Meagher. Meagher mind – Not Downy. That is absolutely vital. Got that?” said Workman
”To Fr Meagher only.” said MacDonnell.
”Absolutely. Let that be realised. That is crucial. Must be to Meagher not Downy” said Workman
”Sir if you please it is FATHER Meagher and FATHER Downy” said MacDonnell
”Very well – Father Meagher. Forgive me. I do not wish to disrespect to Fr Meagher. You do not give it to Downy. Must be in the confession box. No one must see. Secrecy is of the utmost importance. Do not you think about opening it. Top secret. I shall check with the priest that it was no opened. Understood?” asked Workman
”Yes sir” said MacDonnell ”understood.”
MacDonnell took the envelope. He was not a very dedicated Catholic. The revival of his faith came as a welcome surprise to Fr Meagher.
There was an unremarkable confession. Workman had sent MacDonald as he could not send Moore twice in one week. A reply was picked up by FitzGerald in confession next day. FitzGerald hand was more or less healed and was back on duty.
Workman was keen to get the process finished as soon as possible lest the detonators be used. Within a few days the detonators had been removed from the house when Fr Downy was away on an overnight trip.
Workman took the detonators into his room and worked on them in secret. Then Moore delivered them back to Fr Meagher in confession. It was a week to the day that Meagher had revealed their existence. He took care to restore them to their hiding place and in the exact same position as before.
AT THE DINNER TABLE.
Fr Downy had hied back to the parish. He and Fr Meagher sat down to dinner.
”They are marching in the North – those heretics” said Downy.
”Yes, I know but please do not call them heretics.” said Meagher
”Why not? Nil salus ex ecclesia. No one comes to the Father except through me – it is the same.” said Downy
”It is not quite the same. I studied sacred theology too you know.” said Meagher
”A bench of bishops would say I am right” said Downy
”Isn’t it a little uncharitable? We are all part of the church of Christ. It was a republican I think Thomas Davis who said what matter if at two altars we pray unto one Lord?” said Meagher
”He was Prod. That is why he failed. He wanted to fail. A lot of good men died because of him. Half Welsh. Father an army doctor. He was probably an English spy all along” said Downy ”we will only win freedom under our own efforts. A Catholic army under Catholic leadership. Then a Catholic state for a Catholic people” said Downy
”Please do we have to have this argument again?” said Meagher wearily.
”Well if you are going to defend the Orangemen yes we do” said Downy
”There are bad Orangemen I grant you that. Most of their parades are peaceful” said Meagher
”They are filth. I have heard tell that their banners says – the doctrines of Luther we shall maintain. Are they too stupid to know that Luther was a German? There they are fighting Germans. Loyalists are ignoramuses. Wilfully ignorant. They are killing Catholic men not IRA me by the hundred.” said Downy;
”I do think you exaggerate. It is about 100 this year and last. That is bad enough. Should be none. No man should be killed or harmed for his faith” said Meagher.
”I cannot agree. There can be no comparison between truth and lies. Our church is the one true apostolic church. We are based on St Peter the rock of God. This is the rock upon which I build my church – I give him the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Have you not seen the crossed keys on the papal flag one silver one gold? Whatever he binds on earth is bound in heaven whatever he looses on earth is loosed in heaven. Our bishops are ordained by bishops who are ordained by bishops all the way back to the twelve apostles and back to Jesus/ Do I have to teach you basic theology?” asked Downy.
”Fr – I am perfectly aware of the authority of our church. In many ways it is the best church. Look at the architecture and the music. There are philosophers and artists inspired by Catholicism. We do so much for the poor and the illiterate” said Meagher
”In many ways? In every way. Why do you have a soft spot for Protestants?” said Downy
”They are our brothers. They may be in error. There is the call to unity. If we wish to bring them back to the church it must be by seduction not abduction” said Meagher
”I do not like the comparison to sin” said Downy
Meagher suppressed a smirk – this was peculiarly ironic coming from Downy. Where was his moral authority when he molested underage girls?
”Forgive me Father” said Meagher ”I agree the situation in the North of Ireland is bad.”
”You are speaking up for the loyalist terrorists” said Downy
”Do not insult me. Do not accuse me of that. If you say that the UPA is an evil organisation you are pushing at an open door with me. The IRA is as bad killing a Protestant for every Catholic killed” said Meagher
”Well what else can we do to defend ourselves?” said Downy; “Besides our cause is righteous and theirs is wicked. And there can be no comparison between the true religion and apostasy.”
”Not start the fight in the first place or end it now” said Meagher
”we did not start this” said Downy
”I agree we did not. The IRA did. They do not represent the Catholic people – a section of it perhaps. In 1916 there were no sectarian slayings. In 1919 there were none till the IRA started shooting.” said Meagher
”We are reacting to them” said Downy chillingly. “A Catholic life is Worth ten Prods;”
”I am not so sure. Anyway it is immoral” said Meagher
”If they kill our men we are obliged to hit back. Make them see if they kill ours we shall kill theirs” said Downy
”So the IRA is no better than the UPA? Lowering itself to that barbaric level?” asked Meagher
”No the IRA is better because Catholicism is the true religion and we are fighting for righteousness. Besides most of them time the IRA kills soldiers and policemen not civilians” said Downy
”The UPA does not kill soldiers and policemen because it is pro Crown. The UPA tries ti kill IRA men but the volunteers do not wear uniforms and do not have a barracks. So how can the UPA find the IRA? Yes the UPA is vicious and is anti Catholic. It is no worse than the IRA. Ordinary loyalists are not bad like normal nationalists are not bad” said Meagher.
”These loyalists how can they even call themselves that?” said Downy ” In 1912 when that Home Rule bill came out they were willing to kick the crown, orb and sceptre into the sea and be ruled by Kaiser Bill prince of Protestantism they called him”
”I think you will find that is something of a myth” said Meagher ” they did not want Home Rule. They might have rebelled. The the nationalists would have been loyal and the so called loyalists would have been rebels. How would you feel about that?”
Downy was flummoxed and said nothing.
Meagher continued ”they never said they would reject the king. They had the Tories on their side. A disgrace I know. Asquith was too weak. You remember when those 50 officers at the Curragh said they would resign rather than enforce Home Rule? Asquith should have sacked the lot. 50 officers out of an army of 400 000 can easily be replaced. He needed to get tough. It seemed being reasonable gets you nowhere”
”First time you have made sense in a long while” said Downy. ”The English are hard on us and easy on loyalist rebels”
”They have interned some of the UPA but not enough” said Meagher
”Why not more? They are on the UPA side” said Downy
”No because the UPA’s crimes boost the IRA. People turn to the IRA when they think the RIC cannot protect them. The RIC is mostly Catholic for goodness sake. The UPA are not interned so much because the RIC do not have big files on them. The RIC has been keeping an eye on republicans for 100 years. UPA was founded last year. The IRA has to plan these difficult attacks. The UPA does not need to plan shooting into a Catholic street. That is why the RIC knows less about those UPA rats.” said Meagher.
”Not the first time it happened that Irishmen were murdered by the English. Happened at Drogheda” said Downy
”Yes it happened there but theyw ere English people at Drogheda. Catholics but English. Called English by themselves and everyone else” said Meagher ”you are so eager to be anglophobic that you call people Irish when they are not.”
”I presume it is an Irishman I am speaking to?” Downy said in angry contempt.
”Of course I am Irish. Being Irish is not an opinion. It is not about certain beliefs. My mother and father are Irish. I was born in Ireland. I am Irish through and through. MAybe an English ancestor centuries ago but I am still Irish” said Meagher
”Well you do not sound it from what you say” said Downy accusingly.
”I do not have to score high marks for Irishness. I am Irish and that is it. You are not the arbiter of who is Irish.” said Meagher ”That is the trouble with people like you – trying too hard to be extra Irish. It is the same with some English people. But men like you want to be pure Irish and think that means being anti English”
”I am not anti English I want their soldiers out of our country” said Downy
”You said a lot of anti English things like they are liars, sybarites, syphlitic and all that” said Meagher
”Well they say the same about us” said Downy
”Some of them do but we should not lower ourselves to that level. The problem is bigotry and not any nationality. If we had no English troops here we could easily be invaded by Germany or somewhere. We cannot afford a navy or aeroplanes. Your republicans wanted the Kaiser’s son Joachim to rule here. ” said Meagher.
”Anything is better than the English” said Downy
”I seriously doubt that. See how many massacres other armies have committed Look at the German Army, the French, the Austrians the Turks or the Russians now in their civil war. The English are far from perfect. They have some brutes and blockheads in their army same as in any army. But they are not slaughtering civilians all the time” said Meagher. ”If their army was so evil and alien why did so many Irishman volunteer for it?”
”Poverty” said Downy
”It is partly that same as why Englishman join it. If we become a republic men will join our army for poverty too. Men do it for pay but also for belief. It is not either or. If our men could not join the British Army and the Royal Navy our unemployment would be much worse” said Meagher
”No it would not. You have been indoctrinated by lying English propaganda” said Downy ”We were the richest in the world till the English came”
”Where is your evidence? I know of no statistics from the 12th century. Look our soil is not good for cereal crops. It rains so much so salty and windy. No minerals here. That is why we are not as wealthy as them” said Meagher
”Ah you cannot change history” said Downy
”Correct. I think you mean I should not examine your republican fairytales. Before the English came we were several countries fighting each other. We did not have the same courts. We had the Brehon Law. We had no royal house. The different petty kings were battling it out for the high kingship every few years. We got a lot of inventions from the English – same as we saved Christianity and literacy for them. We taught them to read.” said Meagher
”The language what about our language?” said Downy
”Languages come and go. Irish is not the original language here. There was a P Celtic language before it. Gaels are not the original people of Ireland. There were several other waves of invasion and immigration before. We do republican obsess on that an pretend we are totally Gaelic. We are a bit Gaelic but a lot else besides. You have selective amnesia. We have had a non Irish speaking community since the 9th century. Many people spoke Danish then. People spoke English in the east coast since the 12 th century. Irish has not been our main language for 200 years. We are very fortunate to speak this language – what an advantage when we go to America.” said Meagher
”You are an apologist for those Orange pigs. I have had enough of this. I am going to eat” said Downy in a monotone.
Meagher resisted the temptation to tell Downy what he thought of his hiding detonators on behalf of an organisation Under an episcopal interdict.
THOMPSON AT THE CAMP
The IRA camped on a hillside covered in broom. They were avoiding forests. Workman was driving his men very hard making them search 50 buildings a day. The forests were combed every other day.
It was a warm July evening. They had no campfire. Pre cooked food was delivered to them.
As they gathered London said ”That bastard Workman is harrying us. Wish we could put a bullet in his head as we did with Bulkeley. Good news is we are getting reinforcements. I told the brigade HQ that this fella Workman has us on the ropes. But we have a little surprise for Workman next time he walks to Lismanistry” he chuckled.
Adams added “You hear what the Brits did/ Them peeler bastards burned the creamery down for no reason at all. Just to punish the whole town. Threw many people out of work; Worse than the Germans!”
” Ah well in fairness they did find our guns hidden there” said Thompson.
“What are you pro British or Something” London gave Thompson a withering stare.
“Ah no. You are right/ There was no reason for it. The RIC are filth worse than the Huns” said Thompson. He felt tad of discomfort at branding the Germans as evil when they were the ones who had been the IRA’s stalwart allies two years before.
Just then Wynn came over hearing the conversation ”What is that then commandant?”
”Wynn you stink like Cromwell” said London. They others laughed heartily and Wynn’s face fell ”Will you ever go to Corrigan’s for a bath?”
Wynn hurried off in shame. At that precise moment everyone laughed at him.
”Right Thompson. I taught you how to do this” he took a detonator from his pocket and handed it to Thompson. ”Go and attach it to the mine. I told you where to site it now didn’t I?”
”Yes commandant you showed me earlier” said Thomspon
”Well carry it a mile down the hill. Must site it at night so no one sees you laying the mine” said London. “This will send a clear message to the RIC what we think of them pigs burning the creamery!”
Thompson wandered off behind a bush to attach the detonator. A few seconds later there as an earth shaking explosion and Thompson’ head flew off his shoulders and over the bush
The others were knocked over by the blast. They were all deafened for a few seconds and disoriented. London looked around him wondering if they were under attack by the RIC. He realised they were not and got up. Gradually their hearing came back.
The men cowered on the ground. A few of the braver souls rose to their feet
”Shit went off prematurely.” said London ”Bombs gone off. Bomb exploded” said London ”Did you see his head fly over there?” He was shocked but not upset. ”I would not be trusting them ones now – do you know?”
NEWS REACHES MEAGHER
Meagher was at home preparing a homily in the drawing room.
In came Downy with alacrity. ”I have some bad news about the IRA I am afraid”
Meagher was ready to take it philosophically. He did not want the IRA to win but he did not rejoice in anyone’s death.
”My goodness what is it father?” asked Meagher
”One of their men got killed last night” said Downy. There was a rare compassion on his face. Meagher began to think something of it. No? Couldn’t be? Not him.
Downy carried on softly ”Benedict Thompson got killed”
”What!” he yelled at a high pitch. ”Who?” Meagher disbelieved his ears.
”Benedict Thompson got killed last night. Benedict is dead” he said with slow insistence.
”No. Who? Not my Benedict” said Meagher refusing to believe it
Downy put his hand on Meagher’s forearm. ”Father I know you were very close to him but Benedict is dead”
”No!” Meagher shrieked and bitter tears spurted from his eyes. His face turned bright red. He shook his head in protest as if denial could change reality
”No it is not true – it can’t be!” said Meagher mewling. He bent over and wept helplessly.
”Father it is true I am afraid. I saw his body myself he is laid out in the church” said Meagher.
Meagher fell onto the floor and howled like a baby ‘ ‘No Benedict not my Benedict. God would not allow that to happen. My own dear love.” He looked up ”How?” he breathed.
”He was blown up by his own mine – faulty detonator” said Downy calmly