Category Archives: Fiction

These are mostly reveries but some works of my conscious imagination.

Accents from outside the British Isles. =========

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Black south African.

I would like to thank you for your support

In the anti apartheied struggle. It was  along walk to freedom

when I was imprisoned on robben island

# for many years my spirits were buiyed up

by fraternal greetings from people all around the globe

who were engaged in similar battles for self assertion and national salvation

I was filled with a patriotic fervour when I pondered on these kindred spirits who were

engaged in similar revolutions for the uploftment of all mankind

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white south african

hello how’s it? My name is flippie van der velded and I am from jo burg

if you want to get to the spring bok bar then do down to the traffic circle and take the second exit

when you get to the robitis turn right? Ok. there you can have some biltoong at the braai.

There are some really cool people from UCT at the party there.

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NIGERIA

I am the right reverenda Englishman akintundge

I am the pastor of tower of praise church. the goals of our church are to evangaise for our lord and saviour jesus chirst

to acquire real property bith in Nigeria and abroad.

we preach the proepseoty gospel. give money to the pastr and the lord will give you back ten times more

# it is nt a bad invesmnet. if you have faith

what did the thtee wise men bring to the baby jesys They bring hm gold. so if you are ise bring me gold

Me and my wife winnifred and vaee married for many etars, . bre fruitual and mutlipl. do ot the good book say?

we awere belessed with our girls damsel and immaculate.

then we have the boys Ezekiel. melchiziedek, Israel and englishman

 

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Arab

I am a paediatrician and I work at the hospital in sauid arabia

I looked after the very sick kids

it is a hard work but somebody has got to do it and I am a very nicee guy

I am working for the Aramaic pil company

of couse I am a muslm so I believe in allah

I do not like the people of Israel so much. I support my brother in a Palestine.

not all arabs know how to ride the camel. If you think that we all ride camle then you are stupid

I will go and drinka pepsi

 

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Indian

I am from India. The city of Mumbai. Before freedom Britishers were here

they called it Bombay.

I do not so much like the Pakistani people. they put the bomb into Bombay

I love old India too much.

If you get in a soup you can call me.

If the police stop you they might ask for for some bucks. If you pay a crore to these goondas they will make some adjustment

this happen to me thrice. I am paying rupees five lakh

are you marriage? What is your post? What is your father’s post?

put your tongue on the top of your pallet and curry favor.

 

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Singapore

I am Sinapore people. we speak English very well but sometimes it is singlish

we just make a few mistake lah

sometimes we mixin in Chinese mandarin, catonese or malay phrases.

some people do not know what is properly englisg and whgat is not

they not saying the and a that is wasting words

did you take a brick in the break room. we are not good at out long and short vowels.

do not make a mistake.

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Standard American

welcome to the USA

trump is our president. I do not think he is real good.

I wish he would turn off the Fawcett of public tax dollars that are being spent

rebuild the railroad. That is twenty times better for the environment than airplanes.

I take climate change seriously. sure.

 

 

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Southern USA

it is quarter of tayin

the statue of rober E lee must stay in Charlottesville.

I wish those anti gun people would stop hating on freedom.

I do not like the fancy talk of those people from colleges. #

Do not say that we are dumb. I am a redneck and proud. #

I got my gun and I got my bourbon. I am  aa southern gentleman.

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Spanish#

I had a collegeau called Olga and she said hello

I said are you from spain

she said how do you know?

I like the revolution in spain when we aere figting against franco he was an asshole saying viva espana

I do not like bullfighting.

rbtish women have a reptuaiton for real whore sin spain.

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Italian

I am from Italy. I worked in a company for many etars

I know I have this crazy Italian accent,

my voice goes up and down all the time. I like to have a rhythm to the syllabkes

becayse that is the way we spoea in Italoan

with a vowel at tge end of every word

how do you say in the English smart car

what about internet point  or a self bar?

I have a cat and I love she.

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I am from France. I live in near orissy Charles de gaulle.

I like eat the canard in a sauce berneaise. so say the trut to me. I learn English since ten year.

I speak very good. is Itt possible that you will think I am the English?

France is a republic that give equality to all the people.

In france we have many people of maroc , the bietnman and the sgenral and all are frencg.

 

 

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German

I am from the Germany . ya. I speak god english.

in fact English is just the same as german.

I do not like the way people are fixated with 12 years of our history under the nationa; socialist dictatrship

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DUTCH

when I got to the amswetrdam schipohl air poort I was told welcome to the betherland and amswertdamn

#I was met by te queen of Holland.

remember in the nertlands you can smoke cannabis but with hard drugs we take a zero tolerance approach.

 

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Romania

I hope you like Romania. you are like a communist.

In the kindergarten one kid say alex bite him in the ass.

I like to travel on Romanian railroad. you can go to the see to the water

there are many things I like to do. to control the traffic in the town.

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Russia

I live in Russia. do not forget that mother Russia is a great country. in the west

people favour the indivudal too much over the cimmubity

you have forgotten family values.

we have a magnificently rich culture and many heroes such as alexander Kutuzov.

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Azerbiajna

My country is azerbian republic. we are near to the turkey.

we do not like armenai so much. th

we celebrate bayram and cut the sheep/w

we have big wedding party.

we do not thrown bread on the country . is it not a shame for you?  I have a problem with you.

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New Zealand

I like Ne Zealand do you like new xealnd?

we are environemtnally friendsly. we dp heaps of things for the enviemenront

it is absolutel ridiculisu nt do do so.

animal rights acitivts recued some hen froma  battery farm yesrrfay

 

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Jamaica.

you al right? wog won me bredrin. in Jamaica we speak the queens englidh and patois.

usain is te ational bero or Jamaica

but we also like his imperial majesty jan ras tafari

I am living in London in harledon by Willesden junction station

my sn him like him dancing but him no lkke him henglish

him want to oin the harmy#

if you is hungry when you get here were feed you a hamaicam patty.

 

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Trump aritculates

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My fellow Americans,

I am here with my wife. Marla. Is it Marla now? Melissa? Whoever.

I saw some really hot leggy blone called Ivanka

looked kind of familiar#

but she is married to jewish dweeb called jared

I will call in a drone strike on him.

I met this old German dyke called Angela Markel.

She said please do not nuke North Korea.

I said you must have blood coming out of your wherever.

#I said who cares if ten million little yellow bastards get killed.

Why not blow up North Korea. It does not have a trump tower. Must be a shit hole.

But I like Kim Jon ON

His hairstyle makes mine look ok.

He is a great leader. Really tough.

The North Korean media respect him. I want the Washington press to do the same for me.

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I want you to know that I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus and I believe in Christ. I believe in Hail Mary.

shouldn’t that be Mary Hale?

I believe in Jesus and his 12 reindeer.

I believe in the Bible. Not a lot of peopLe knows that it was written by Mr Bull. That is why it is called by Bull

I read the Bible. It goot some real nice photos.

I like the ten amendments#

Thou shalt own a gun

thou shalt shoot ethnic minorities

thou shalt never tell the truth.

thou shalt commit adultery

thou shalt commit sexual assault

thou shall fuck the poor.

thou shalt use foul language all the time

thou shalt defraud people at the university that you name after thyself

 

hE WHo lives by the gun shall not die by the gun.

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VATICAN

I was there to see the president.

Then this guy called Mr Pope came out.

He was a Hispanic drag artist in a white  dress.

I aod fuck off Mr Pope. where is the president?

That Mr Pope had all his faggot drag arists in black dresses

I never did get to meet the president of Vatican.

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SAUDI

I said too the KIng of Saudi I said Salmon – Your majesty, motherfucker – never let those muslim assholes in here

he said nothing

I said Salmon you gonne help me kill ISIS

he said bro – we send money, guns and men to ISIS.

I said I love ISIS too. They say rape is good and I do too.

I never  ever sad I WAS AGAINST isis/

that never ever happened. fake news.

SO I SAID TO salmon king – muslims are good but  do not let any arabs into Saudi.

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MC CAIN.

I HATE  james mc cain. He is a coward, got captured in vietnam

I never got captured in Nam.

I was unable to go to Vietnam.  had a broken finger nail.

I am a hero. I was brave to go to Fordham. I need a congressional medal of honr

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FRANCE

#I MET manuel macaroni

wyy are there African americans in france

you got a basketball team?

they are dumb those African americans in france. they speak french.

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Black and Tans. Chapter 24. Showdown.

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IRA

  1. Jim London. (JIM LSJ) ex soldier wants to be hangman. socialist. ———– shot in ambush

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2. Vinny Conlan (Vinny Cochrane) actor. brainy. inquisitive. ———-

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3. Gerry  Nagle (G Nagle) insurance company salesman. conman. shot in ambush

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4. William Hendricks. (Wesley Hendricks) builder. cousin killed in Easter Rising. (shot dead by London in a row) ——–

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5. Peter Lynne (Pearse Lynne) teacher——– Arrested.

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6. Jonathan Wynn (Jonathon Roberts) painter and decorator. granny died in famine. hates blacks. ——————— shot in groin in ambush

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7. Pascal Harrington (Causkey)  labourer. arrested after riot.

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8. Alex East (Alex Asgari) labourer. Pal murdered by UPA.  Arrested ————

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9. Damian Walsh (D W) farmer.  arrested ————————–

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10. Roger Tooth (Roger Tooth) travelling salesman robber. shot as he deserted in ambush

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11. Robert Johnson  (J Roberts univ) chemist. Shot dead in grenade attack. 

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12. Laurence Dale. (aMpleforth ex soldier teacher) ex soldier. shot dead in grenade attack.

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13. Sean Tussock (Zhangir T) coal importer’s son

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14.  Niall Tussock (Nurzhan) coal importer’s son

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15. Henry Tussock (uncle Hal) coal importer

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16. Gabriel Tussock (coal importer)

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17. Charles Williams (Will Charles) solicitor’s clerk. Irish lang enthusiast——- arrested

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18. Benedict Thompson (B Thompson) solicitor’s clerk. GAA (blown up by own bomb)——-

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19. Kenneth Adams. ( A K ) farmer. religious reactionary (shot dead holding off RIC in Fisherton Woods) ——-

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20. Michael English (Magnus) labourer. tags along. feeble. becomes informer

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21. Seamus Simons (Simon I F ) barman – wounded in final attack. ————————

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22. Henry Brannock ( Henry W B) labourer. killed in ambush

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reinforcements – ambush

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More RIC reinforcements.

Davey Dew. 30s. (David Dew). Northants.

Thomas Westcott. (T R Forshaw’s dad). 40s Devon.

Jock  Mackay. 20s (v tall Scotsman with moustache from Baku).

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WARNING

The weekly army convoy came through. Three more RIC men stepped out.

Habgood whispered into Workman’s ear ”They captured an IRA man up at Kingstown in Dublin. Courier with a letter from this district. IRA here are trying to work out a way to ambush your lorry.  There is about ten new IRA moved into your district. Be very careful”

Workman nodded sagely. He gulped – this was grave news.

The three new RIC lined up in the dayroom. ”Who are you?” Workman asked them in a formal tone.

”Dew, Sir” said a man in his 30s. He was 5’9” and spare. His hair was thin and prematurely grey. His face was very smooth as though he had no facial hair. He wore thick rimmed glasses.

”Right Dew – where you from?” asked Workman

”Northamptonshire sir. Served in the war sir. Royal Artillery.” said Dew. He was very upright and seemed a born soldier. Dew had an old scar above his right eye all across his forehead. It caused his eye to be slightly out of kilter.

”Next – introduce yourself” said Workman

”Westcott. sir” said another man. He was 5’10” and had dark brown hair – cut very short. His cheekbones were extraordinarily wide. He had a huge chin and very powerful shoulders.  Westcott was very heavily built though not fat. He looked comically ugly and almost simian but you would not have dared tell him that. Wescott looked to be in his mid 20s.

”Where you from Westcott?” asked Workman.

”I am from Devon Sir. I served in the Dorsets though in the war sir” said Westcott. His West Country burr became apparent as he spoke.

”And you man?” Workman looked at the third man.

”Mackay, sir” said a moustachioed man with a tic in his eye. He was in his 30s, stood 6’3”  and was slim without being weak.

”Mackay – what regiment did you serve in?”

”Black Watch sir” he said.

”Where you from Mackay?” said Workman

”Scotland sir. Aberdeenshire” said Mackay.

”Good to have another Jock around. We have one here. We have some Aberdeen Angus for you to eat too” said Workman. ”Know this men I run a very tight ship. We are here to thrash the pants off the IRA. This is no easy ride.”

Later Workman conferred with Limtay in his room. ”Over in Kilstrewery there is a new RIC head constable from England. Jeremy Sheard is his name – knew him in the army. Local IRA big cheese is called Jeremiah Hannway so they say. It is Jeremy against Jeremiah” he quipped.

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STRENGTHENING THE CAUSE

The IRA was encamped some miles south of Clanrolla. A sheer mountain on one side and a bog on the other ensured there could be no rapid attack on them.

London was conferring with his chaplain Fr Downy.

”Father would you not mind letting one or two of the boys stay in the presbytery? We have more men coming in. Too many volunteers to camp here without attracting attention. It is difficult to get rations to this remote spot.”

”Commandant” began Fr Downy exhaling heavily ”No sorry. I am afraid that is not possible. I cannot let a volunteer stay in the house. If the bishop found out I had IRA men staying in the house I would be defrocked. I can hide arms – that is it”

”Fr Downy but Benedict Thompson used to sleep in the presbytery.” said London

”Ah he was not really in the IRA then. Only Sinn Fein. He was a close friend of Fr Meagher. If more came Fr Meagher might even tell the RIC” said Fr Downy.

”Tell the RIC? Fr Meagher? An Orange Catholic!” said London in disgust.

”I know – tis shockin’ . Every day he is speaking up for the English. More loyalist than King George” said Fr Downy.

”Nothing a bullet in the back of the head would not cure” said London.

”Ah no. He is a priest. No matter what a priest has done a priest must never, ever be punished in anyway. We are God’s annointed” Fr Downy chided London

”Yes, forgive me father.” said London bowing.

”After this war is over maybe we can have him drummed out of the county” said Fr Downy.

Just then a scout approached leading ten volunteers. Half were unarmed. They were men in grey, beige, dark blue and black clothes. Brogue shoes and boots. One had wellington boots on. They had tweed or coarse clothes on. Most wore caps.

”Commandant” said a boy scout ” these are volunteers sent by the other brigade”

”Ah very good. Welcome lads. I am commandant London” eagerly.

”How ye doing bwoy?” said a chubby, round faced man with thinning brown hair.

”It is commandant!” said London sternly ”I welcome you but do not forget your place man. This is the army!”

”Oh sorry commandant” said the porky man making an attempt at a salute.

”What is your name volunteer?”

”Ryan sir, Donal Ryan”

”Volunteer Ryan – remember yourself in future. ”

The volunteers were given a briefing on the district. They then sat down to a meal on the ground. Some of them complained about the absence of trip and drisheen. Ryan remarked ”I would murder  for half a smile”

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AMBUSH

Workman reasoned that he had better not let the IRA attack the barracks. They would only do that if confident of victory. That would mean they had huge numbers or mines that actually worked. They would have tested some. Besides from the barracks there could be no retreat. He wondered whether the IRA would tunnel in from a nearby derelict house. He had such houses checked regularly. But with 18 men in the barracks the IRA would find it hard to mount an attack.

Wokrman bought solid rubber tyres for the truck. He purchased them out of his own pay packet. They were a life saver. Ordinary tyres could be shot out. With solid rubber tyres the bullets bounced off – becoming a danger to the enemy. The disadvantage of solid rubber tyres is they were heavier. The truck moved slower and used more fuel.

Head Constable Workman had his men turn metal sheets into wall inside the canvass cover of the lorry. He also had peep holes built in which could be moved back to fire.

In the front of the lorry an extra set of pedals was installed. If the driver was killed the man beside him could drive. Metal bars were put behind the windscreen. If the windscreen was shot the glass would fall out not in.

A machinegun turret was built in the back of the lorry. It would turn 360 degrees. The man manning the gun had a metal contraption to keep him stable as he stood manning the gun – in case the lorry hit bumps. If the enemy manged to shoot him through the observation slit he could easily be removed and replaced.

The lorry seemed to be impregnable. Workman only wanted to tempt the IRA to attack it.

 

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AMBUSH

Workman drove the lorry out of the barracks. He had ten men aboard. There were two with him in the front. These men only carried revolvers – two each. There was no space to manouvre a rifle in the front. Their rifles were in the rear section of the lorry. There was an open space between the cab and the rear. Three men sat on the left bench and three on the right. One man was manning the machinegun turret.

Workman had briefed them and drilled them on what to do in an ambush. He had also broken his own golden rule. They patrolled the same route five days in a row at roughly the same time. He did not want their to be exactitude to the timing otherwise the IRA might suspect they were being drawn into a trap. No need to make it seem too easy.

Capture boy scouts had revealed that there were a lot of new IRA men in the area. The IRA was having trouble getting enough food to these men. They could not linger too long. They must attack or disperse.

That September afternoon the lorry slowed as it climbed a steep hill. There were trees on one side as the hill sloped up. There were dense bushes on the other. There was a hairpin bend at the top of the slope. Workman has spotted it as the ideal ambuscade.

London had got his men in position an hour before. Ten men were in the trees to the east of the road. They were the main party to attack the lorry. Five men were in the bushes to the west in case the police chose to take shelter there. The IRA to the west of the road were to stay back – at such an angle that they could not accidentally shot by the men on the eastern side. London had positioned five men 100 yards north of the ambuscade – in case the RIC tried to run away in that direction. There were five men hidden 100 yards south of the ambuscade in case the RIC tried to escape that way. Another five men were put in various positions to the rear of the IRA positions and looking away. London wanted to prevent a counter ambush. He was fearful of being outfoxed by Workman. Workman might have cavalry coming up behind for precisely this scenario. There were also ten unarmed scouts. These boys were there to alert London to the approach of the lorry or of any civilians. As usual London did not want too many scouts lest they draw attention to themselves. There was a risk a scout would be arrested and induced to spill the beans.

The men in the back of the lorry were singing as they often did. It passed the time on long and tedious drives. It also kept their spirits up. The trouble was the public had decided that the police must be in a crapulous state to be singing so much.

The lorry growled as it made its way sluggishly to the hairpin bend. It was a blind corner. Workman started to turn the wheel. He was half way around the corner. In the rear view mirror. He just caught sight of two men quickly hauling a huge log across the road. What was that about? He instantly clicked.

”Men. Attention! COuld be an ambush” Workman shouted. As he said that the lorry rounded the corner. There in front of him was a pile of five large logs – they completed barred the road. There was a huge boulder to the right and a steep drop of 5 yards to the left. There was no way around it.

As Workman slammed on the breaks firing broke out. ”Battle stations” shouted Workman. He need not have bothered. The men had immediately got to their positions.

The IRA had opened a furious fusillade from the east. London had taught his men to shock the enemy with the volume of fire. Then the RIC would surrender instantly.

The IRA were perplexed to hear the metallic pinging noise their bullets made when they pierced the canvas covering of the lorry. ”Fire low” London shouted to remind them. When fire was opened the RIC would hit the floor – that was the theory. No sense in firing at where their heads would be if they were standing. If the IRA fired at just above floor level they could hardly miss.

Some of the sharpshooters among the IRA had been assigned the task of shooting out the tyres. They fired and fired. They could not believe their eyes. The tyres did not burst. Bullets appeared to ricochet off.

The RIC had flipped back the metal spy holes built into the metal hull. The cover of the spy holes was held in place. These spy holes were at different levels – head height, kneeling height and lying height. There were nine on each side of the lorry and six at the rear. The RIC in the cab opened the side windows and shot out with their pistols.

There was not much for the RIC to shoot at. A few saw some dark shapes.

The gun battle had been going on for a minute. The IRA had fired 30 shots and the RIC only 20 when first blood was drawn.

An IRA man cried out in pain. It was Simons – shot in the groin. He threw down his rifle and clutched at his wound.

The RIC saw another dark shape and fired intensely at it. The porcine volunteer from Cork – Ryan – was hard to miss. He took two bullets through the navel. He bravely fired what was left of his magazine. He was then overcome by exsanguination and passed out.

”This is not working” London whispered to Brannock who was beside him. ”Right send in Nagle.”

Nagle had his hands tied and was some yards behind London. He had only been inveigled to come to an IRA parade as he had been persuaded that a robbery was in the offing. Nagle”s hands were untied and he was given a Mills bomb.

”You know what to do and no funny stuff!” said Brannock  pushing his rifle at Nagle.

Nagle nodded. He breathed deeply and rushed out of the trees as fast as his plump little legs could convey him. He headed for the cab as he had been ordered. The windows were rolled down as the men in the front fired with their revolvers. In any case most of the glass had been shot out.

Nagle saw to his horror that the iron bars in the window made it almost impossible to get a Mills bomb in there. Nagle was three steps out of the bushes when fire began to concentrate on him. Two shots missed from a distance of only 20 yards. Then he was hit in the thigh. Another missed. Before he had time to fall he was shot in the stomach. He fell and was hit in the chest and again. A final shot in the head sealed his fate.

”Shit” said London  ”well the world is one thief short. Send in Tooth” he ordered Brannock.

Tooth was also tied up and under guard. He too had been convinced to show up on the promise of loot.  Tooth’s hands were untied he was given the last remaining Mills bomb and he rushed out of the woods. He was ordered to head for the cab but then darted left not right – he ran down the road to get away from the skirmish. Tooth had reasoned that the fire fight was the ideal time to make a break for it. London was having none of it. When he realised that Tooth was deserting he opened fire. He missed once and again. But then he hit Tooth in the calf. Tooth was sent hopping. London found his mark shooting Tooth in the lower back and then through the lung. Tooth fell bleeding onto the rocky road. London decided it was not worth expending ammunition in finishing him off. He could be put out of his misery with a rifle butt later.

The fighting had been going on for two minutes. The IRA had sustained four casualties and the RIC none.

All of a sudden the RIC firing slackened and then stopped. ”Ah shit no more ammunition head constable”

”Out of ammunition” another voice shouted.

”Anybody got any bullets?” said another.

”Sir – we got no more ammo”. So they voices cursed.

London had been on the point of breaking off the attack. This was too good an opportunity to miss.

”Men – charge” said London standing up and waving his rifle

Several men rose and charged towards the lorry. They would fire into the can or break open the rear door. Maybe fetch the Mills bombs to throw in too.

Even some men on the west of the road could not resist joining in.

12 IRA men were visible when Limtay in the machinegun turret opened up. He sprayed the IRA men advancing from the east.

Brannock took a chest full of bullets and died instantly. London was hit in the stomach and thigh. He fell down swearing.

The Tussock brothers had been the last to rise. Both were hit in the legs. They fell to the ground  bleeding. They left their rifles and tried to crawl away. The blood loss meant they were unable to.

Henry Tussock was hit in the head but did not die instantly Gabriel Tussock was hit in the groin and fell to the ground in agony. The few who had not been hit on the western side ran off.

Limtay swivelled to the east Lorcan Malley was shot in the face and fell dead. The others had dashed back into the bushes.

”Keep firing” shouted Workman. Limtay sprayed the bushes from side to side and then he turned back to the trees – he sprayed left and right. No one could live through that hail.

”Right – out clear the road. Mackay and Westcott!” said Workman. The two newbies were assigned the dangerous task. They hopped out without their rifles. They dragged the five logs across. Adrenaline meant they did it in only 30 seconds.

The Lorry then sped down the road. The men were jubilant but nervous. They had won but were not too sure of their victory. Could there be more.

One IRA man up the road was meant to stop them. He stood in the middle of the road unable to believe the ambush had been an ignominious failure. He thought one or two police might be able to bolt but not the whole lorry. He stood in the middle of the road and courageously fire and fired at the cab  to kill the driver. Workman put his head below the steering wheel and pressed his foot to the floor. As the accelerator revved the lorry smashed into the IRA man – his body was sent flying into the air. He then landed to the rear of the lorry as it sped past. He died of a broken neck.

”Anybody wounded?” shouted Workman agitated.

The men checked themselves. In their high spirits they might not notice pain.

”No”, ”No”, ”No” they shouted

”Not a man wounded?” said Workman ” We must have taken out a dozen of the blighters and not one man of ours wounded?”

The RIC sped back to barracks. They informed their colleagues. There were whoops and bearhugs all around.

Workman was always one to follow up an advantage. He returned to the ambuscade an hour later. The last logs were cleared. They found eight dead bodies. Some of them had died only minutes before it seemed. They also recovered ten firearms.

Pools of blood revealed at least another four wounded. Follow up raids found the four wounded men and a further eight IRA men who had not been wounded. The IRA in Clountreem was smashed.

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EPILOGUE.

Limtay resigned from the RIC a month later. He returned to England and divorced his wife. He became a Fleet Street journalist and Liberal councillor. He married a French actress ten years his junior and had two more children.

Workman returned to Chester and opened a car dealership.

FitzGerald was forced to leave Ireland after the Troubles. He became a policeman in Sussex.

Moore joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary and served the rest of his career in Tyrone becoming a head constable.

Sergeant later joined the Palestine Police.

Short joined the French Foreign Legion. He was killed in the Rif War.

Fr Downy later committed suicide in disgust at his crimes.

Fr Meagher found another young lover and lived out his days as a bishop.

Conlan became a Labour Party TD in Ireland.

 

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A dream of Jerusalem

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I had a dream which haad many episodes. In one of those I was in Dubai. I saw it from the sea. Thre were many people driving about. It seemed to be a public holiday. I spoke to Guy. II was in a car myself. Itw as not so sweltering. I have been reflecting onn where I was a year ago. Where shall I be a twelvemonth hence? Captial would be the best or perhaps Market

Then I was in Jerusalem. I saw the Wailing Wall. People milled about – blac frock coated Hasidim. I spoke to a small, elderly white man. He had think grey tousled hair and wore shorts and a pale shirt. He spoke wit a Caledonian accent. He told me he was a minister in Charlotte Coountry Georgia. He was her eon a trip with his grand niece. He was an amiable gent

I recall saying smething aboyt having faith in someoine. I would like t visit Al Quds Al Arabi some time.

Black and Tans. Chapter 23. Vengeance.

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RIC reinforcements.

Mark ‘Marcus’ Woodcock Workman.  (J M S Woodcock) 30s. Chester.

Anthony Bland. 25.  ( British Army officer Astana) Southern England. rangy. dull

David Cooper.  (Rev D Cooper) no middle name 30s. Yorks.


More RIC reinforcements.

Davey Dew. 30s. (David Dew). Northants.

Thomas Westcott. (T R Forshaw’s dad). 40s Devon.

Jock  Mackay. 20s (v tall Scotsman with moustache from Baku).

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IRA reinforcements

Mick Black (M McCormick) Dublin. 30s

Stephen Malley    (Sasha Ishmail) 18. socialist

Lorcan Malley                         (greasy face OULC chair) 19. socialist. dad in ICA.

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IRA

  1. Jim London. (JIM LSJ) ex soldier wants to be hangman. socialist. ———–

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2. Vinny Conlan (Vinny Cochrane) actor. brainy. inquisitive. ———-

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3. Gerry  Nagle (G Nagle) insurance company salesman. conman.

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4. William Hendricks. (Wesley Hendricks) builder. cousin killed in Easter Rising. (shot dead by London in a row) ——–

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5. Peter Lynne (Pearse Lynne) teacher——– Arrested.

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6. Jonathan Wynn (Jonathon Roberts) painter and decorator. granny died in famine. hates blacks. ———————

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7. Pascal Harrington (Causkey)  labourer. arrested after riot.

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8. Alex East (Alex Asgari) labourer. Pal murdered by UPA.  Arrested ————

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9. Damian Walsh (D W) farmer.  arrested ————————–

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10. Roger Tooth (Roger Tooth) travelling salesman robber

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11. Robert Johnson  (J Roberts univ) chemist. Shot dead in grenade attack. 

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12. Laurence Dale. (aMpleforth ex soldier teacher) ex soldier. shot dead in grenade attack.

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13. Sean Tussock (Zhangir T) coal importer’s son

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14.  Niall Tussock (Nurzhan) coal importer’s son

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15. Henry Tussock (uncle Hal) coal importer

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16. Gabriel Tussock (coal importer)

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17. Charles Williams (Will Charles) solicitor’s clerk. Irish lang enthusiast——- arrested

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18. Benedict Thompson (B Thompson) solicitor’s clerk. GAA (blown up by own bomb)——-

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19. Kenneth Adams. ( A K ) farmer. religious reactionary (shot dead holding off RIC in Fisherton Woods) ——-

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20. Michael English (Magnus) labourer. tags along. feeble. becomes informer

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21. Seamus Simons (Simon I F ) barman————————-

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22. Henry Brannock ( Henry W B) labourer.

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RIC FROM GREAT BRITAIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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8. Col Olley. Oliver Sergeant.  Berks.-(wounded in leg in raid on Fisherton Woods)—————————————————

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9. Mike Cunningham.   Mark Cunningham. Newcastle.  ————————————-

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

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

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

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13. Williams Bulkeley. William Bulkeley. shot dead. 

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

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LOCAL R  I C

  1. N Lupton. Mayo. Nick Lumley. spy.. wounded in chest————————–

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2.  Anthony FitzPatrick. Midlands. Tony FitzGerald. wounded in hand

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

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

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

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6. Murphy. retired.————————————————

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7. Bill Moore. sergeant (W C C)

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

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

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Limtay reports Alderman Conlan’s speech – machinegun – raiding IRA camp – RIC

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REPORTING

An hour after Alderman Conlan’s speech Limtay was back in the station retailing it to Workman

”Well sound jolly interesting. I am glad that people here recognise the IRA for the blackguards they are” said Workman

”Sir, they do not think we are much better” said Limtay

”It is monstrous that he compared us to them” said Workman. ”You said he mentioned English brutes did such and such. Not all of us are English. He never called the IRA Irish in relation to their crimes.” said Workman ”Some anti English prejudice at play.”

”There is anti Irish sentiment in England” said Limtay.

”Well that is true but the IRA have hugely exaggerated that. Used to be a few Irish around my home town before the war. No one gave them a bad time. Anyway what Alderman Conlan says is good news but there is no way on earth we are leaving the station. I have a duty of trust to hold this post for His Majesty. I intend to fulfill that mission” said Workman

”You are right. Had me thinking the whole thing could be a massive ruse de guerre. Get us to pull out then the IRA move in” said Limtay

”Could be right. But I have read the files on this chap. A good egg. A Home Ruler – nothing wrong with that. He has a nephew in the IRA but so does the world and his wife” said Workman ”That proves nothing.”

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MACHINEGUN

They were waiting for the army lorries to come through. They never arrived at a set time or followed a prescribed route. They were random in their movements and timings. The idea was to frustrate attempts at ambush. The IRA must not know the convoy was coming until the last minute. The IRA would not wait in an ambuscade speculatively. They would find it difficult to rally a lot of men at short notice. The army and police were deliberately unpredictable. The golden rule was not to establish a routine. This was supposed to make it impossible for the IRA to prepare or plan anything.,

Moore sat smoking his pipe in the day room. ”Oh to have leave now it is August I would be up in Galway for the races.”

”I never knew you were a sportsman” said Limtay

”I am mad into the gee gees. I love the turf. I was aged 13 out of school. Working full time for farmers. Working as an ostler. Should have joined the cavalry not an infantry regiment but there you are” said Moore.

”I would be up in Derry for the Apprentice Boys parade – 12 th of August” said Forshaw. ”My brother in law is in the Apprentice Boys. I could go to their hall and see the crimson fly.”

”Each to their own” said Moore tolerantly.”

”I wish I could take my wife and children to Blackpool. At this rate I will be able to afford it next year” said Limtay.

Just then the army lorries came along.

Out jumped Habgood. The RIC went to lift in their crates of supplies.

Habgood saluted Workman.

”Good to see you again lieutenant” said Workman

”Thank you head constable. Sir, we have a new present for you. A machine gun.”

”Ah lovely” said Workman

Habgood lent in and whispered in his ear ”Reason we are giving it to you is we had intelligence. An IRA man was captured in Queenstown – broke under questioning. Said a lot more IRA are moving into your district. You are a real thorn in the side of the IRA in this part of the county. They intend to attack the barracks some night. DO not know when”

”Ah that is worth knowing. I will keep my hair on” Workman chuckled falsely.

The unloading was soon complete and the lorries sped on their way.

Workman positioned the machinegun near the middle window on the first floor. He wanted the townsfolk to see that he had it. His aim was not to tempt the IRA to assault the barracks and then get sprayed by the machinegun. He would rather that they did not attack at all. The machinegun was supposed to dissuade them from doing so.

 

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PRIESTS’ CONVERSATION

Fr Meagher and Fr Downy were having luncheon. A copy of Nationality and the Freeman’s Journal lay on the chair beside Downy.

”Fr Meagher you seem a bit better. I know you were very down since …well… you know when… Benedict died” Downy’s voice trailed off to a whisper.

”Yes” Meagher nodded bravely ”Fr Downy – It was a very difficult time. I have written a biography of him to present to his mother. I am also composing a poem for him – an elegy.”

”Very sweet” said Downy taking a bite.

”It reminds me how senseless this fighting is. I want to put a stop to it. I heard Alderman Conlan’s speech. A very fine speech. He is such a leading light in the Ancient Order of Hibernians. As a Catholic organisatiton we must give it our full support. Help to bring peace.” said Meagher

”But father – we cannot take sides in a conflict!” said Downy

”Well you do. Everyone knows you say mass for the IRA and bless their rifles” said Meagher.

”They are men of God. It is my duty to provide for their spiritual needs” said Downy

”Not your duty to bless their guns. You should be telling them to turn away from violence. Anyway what this alderman is doing is setting up a third force. A neutral force. Not IRA and not the RIC. Patrolling without guns. Preventing fighting” said Meagher

”Ah nonsense – twill not work” said Downy

”It is the best chance of peace here” said Meagher

”But because of Benedict you surely see that IRA men are not bad” said Downy

”I had a very soft spot for Benedict. You know that. He was a misguided youth. He was beguiled by Sinn Fein speakers. He joined because of peer pressure. Other lads in the GAA got him to do it. Members of his family. ” said Meagher

”Did he die a mortal sinner?” Downy retorted.

”I do not know. I prefer not to think about it. I pleaded with him. I tried to persuade him to reject violence but he would not listen” said Meagher ”It grieves me.”

”It is very uncomplicated to me. Benedict died bravely serving Ireland. We are Irish and not English. We have to push the invaders out. They are snakes.” said Downy

”For the last time we are English, Welsh, Scots, Norman, Danish, Norse, Palatine German and whatever else” said Meagher ”Look even at the Blasket Islands. There are people over there with the most English of names like Perkins and Spencer. Some are descended from Cromwellian soldiers. In Great Britain many people are of Irish stock”

”By your argument the English are German then?” said Downy.

”They are a bit German yes. But when the Angles and Saxons invaded Britannia there was no such country as Germany.” said Meagher ”so that is not quite comparing like with like”

”We should be united with England in your view. By your rationale then England should be united with Germany?” said Downy

”They were partially united with German – Hanover for over 100 years. Yes, I want more unity. This new thing – League of Nations. It is a wonderful idea. A chance for peace. There may be a world army and a world navy. Try to avoid armies being used for national interest. We should not be dividing people. That is one of the marvelous things about Catholicism – we are the Universal Church. There is a call to unity. One church throughout the world for all races. One language – Latin – for all nations” said Meagher. ”Since no nation speaks Latin it is neutral. I own that it is a lot easier for an Italian or a Frenchman to learn Latin than for a Chinaman or a Basuto!”

”That is all airy fairy. I care about our nation Ireland. A Catholic nation. The ENglish have stolen from us” said Downy.

”Look at the people who coming begging food from us every day. Splitting from England will not feed them – will not put shoes on the feet of discalced children.” said Meagher. ”People have too many children that is one side of it.”

”I was one of 14 children and look how well I turned out.” said Downy

”Ah all right but let”s get back to this England stole from us. Ireland has been invaded many times before Strongbow. Somehow we forget and forgive those invasions but people are always rancorous about Strongbow. The difference is that Strongbow was invited in by an Irish king. You know the Synod of Cashel the church agreed that King Henry II of England was the lord of Ireland? At the Treaty of Windsor the High King Rory O’Connor agreed the same? The Pope commanded Henry II to bring Catholicism back to Ireland . It is in Laudabiliter. A papal bull. If it were not for the ENglish we would not be Catholic. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! I know they tried to stop us being Catholic more recently.”

”Ah Laudabiliter is a hoax not in the Vatican Library” said Downy

”The pope might have binned it so as not to upset extreme nationalists like you. Anyway as for theft – people look back to Ireland before the English came as the halcyon days. It was no golden age. We were forever fighting each other. We had no royal dynasty. Different royal families were always fighting for the high kingship. No laws of succession. Whenever one king died there was a free for all within a dynasty. Constant donnybrooks. We were nomads following our cattle and fighting over grazing. I know being an itinerant made sense before the potato. The potato was another gift to us from the English. Ireland is not good for cereal crops. So do not romanticise Ireland before the 12 th century. Yes, invaders took land as they had done before. If the ENglish stole they only stole what was stolen. Not moral but no worse than what people in Ireland had always done. People rebelled against the crown sometimes. Not always for nationalist reasons. There were many rebellions in England  too. Rebels’ lands were forfeit. Then the English Royal Family were fighting among themselves in the Wars of the Roses and time of James II. WE backed the loser every time. SO we lost land. You know pretenders to the ENglish Throne were crowned in Ireland? Perqin Warbeck in Cork and Lambert Simnel in Dublin? Shows how integrated into that system we were. As for the Penal Times – land left Catholic hands. Mostly because rich Catholic families converted to Protestantism. Well recently we had the Wyndham Land Act. Tenants got to compulsorily purchase the land they rented. English never got that treatment. This land act was only possible because the government paid compensation to the landlords/. The English were conquered by the Normans 100 years before we were. The English got over that. They are not longer always moaning about it. The great English aristocrats are mostly of Norman stock but they intermarried with the English. Same here — the English aristocrats intermarried with the Irish from Strongbow onwards. It is ridiculous to worry about who is English and who is not. We are all a little bit English. That is what being Irish is. Not this drivel about racial and cultural purity. We are all human after all. Solve problems and stop creating them!”

”The English caused all our problems and freedom will solve them all!” said Downy.

”We are free! We can go where we like, do what we like, say what we like. The only restrictions on us are because the IRA started a fight. We had no restrictions on public meetings before the Troubles. The English have not been all innocent. The government has done wrong as all governments do. Do not think independence will be a panacea. What will we do differently? No one can tell me that. We do not need independence to revive the language. If people really want to speak Irish they can do so not without independence. If we split from the United Kingdom what will we do for defence? We cannot afford a decent sized army or navy. The IRA has wrecked the economy and burnt down so many homes. What will we do for pensions? We live longer than the ENglish. They subsidise our pensions. What will we do for a currency? If we set up our own currency then the market will have no confidence in that. A small country of three million people – our currency will be worthless. Hyperinflation like in Germany. If we stay with the pound sterling then what is the point of independence? All financial decisions will be taken in London and we will no longer be represented in Parliament. We will have no say in money supply or interest rates. Think it through man. You want to kick the English out. Why should they not kick out the million Irish workers over there? They have high unemployment in England. If we could not get jobs there we would be reduced to starvation. So stop scape goating the ENglish. You demonise them. They are all bad and never good according to you. Some of them are bad same as any nationality. Not all our people are good. We have our own gombeen men. We had before Strongbow came. We can no longer automatically get into America.”

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RAID

A couple of days later Workman gathered his men.

”Men I believe in being pro active and not reactive. The IRA may attempt to storm the barracks. So keep your wits about you at night. Every man is reminded of the rule – sleep with your rifle and revolver within arm’s length. They must be loaded but safety catches on. A full bucket of water in every room at all times in case they set fire to the place and we need to douse it. We are not going to sit around and wait for these knaves to attack us. We are going to seek them out. Aren’t we girl?” Workman stroked the dog’s throat.

”SO men a patrol of 7 on foot and 3 on horse. Let us try Fisherton Woods again” Workman continued. He then briefed them on timings and directions of approach. Their watches were synchronised.

The horsemen and the men on foot set out.

The men on foot approached Fisherton Woods from below. As we walked up hill they were slowed by the gradient.  Fisherton Woods was too large to be searched as such. The bloodhound led them to a human scent. ”Seek them!” said Workman who had the dog on a lead ”Seek them” was pronounced as ”sick ’em”. Workman repeatedly avidly ”sick em sick em sick”. The bitch sniffed the damp grass and was soon barking enthusiastically and wagging her tail madly.  The RIC were in hot pursuit.

Sure enough they saw a scout just inside the treeline – 50 yards from them. He was not more than 12 years old. He blew his whistle in fright and ran off. The RIC ran toward the treeline. They did not shoot unarmed scouts.

The RIC were soon within the deciduous woods. A dark figure 100 yards within the woods saw them. It was Stephen Malley on sentry duty. Stephen lay on his belly and fired his rifle. The RIC  were spread out in a line 70 yards wide – one man every ten yards. He picked one man and fired and fired at him to bring him down.

”Arrghh” cried out Sergeant as he fell to the ground clutching his thigh ”He got me”

The others had seen the sentry now. Six men fired a volley at Stephen Malley and then another volley. Stephen fell to the ground – two bullets through his chest. He valiantly tried to raise himself and fire again but his strength was deserting him. He flopped to the ground once more.

The RIC ran up to him. Cunningham got to Stephen Malley first and saw that Stephen was still breathing ”He’s alive” he shouted.   Cunningham leveled his rifle at Malley’s back.

”Don’t shoot him we need him to talk” said Workman ”grab his rifle”.

Cunningham duly picked up the wounded man’s rifle and they ran on. It was tough going over the undulating land thickly carpeted with vines and ferns.

The IRA were around a shed 200 yards from where Stephen Malley was positioned. When they heard the whistle they had grabbed their rifles and coats. They ran for it. Malley had bought them another 10 seconds.

”I will stay behind and slow them” shouted Adams

”Do that” said London. He and the others scarpered.

The RIC saw a wooden shed in the middle of the woods. It was still 100 yards off when a man opened the door of the wooden shed and fired at them with a revolver.

The RIC hit the deck. The slim man inside the shed took carefully aimed shots but none hit. Why the careful aim? Preserving ammunition.

”They have decided to stand and fight!” said Workman with relish ”We have got them now”.

Workman was concerned for Bella. He had heard that Jim London would pay 10 pounds to anyone who killed the bloodhound.

The RIC crawled forward on their bellies. They fired at the shed every few seconds.

”fIRE low men!” said Workman. ”There must be ten of them in there. We are bound to hit a few.”

Workman noticed a campfire still burning, some cooking utensils and coats scattered in front of the shed.

The RIC took a minute to advance to within 50 yards of the shed. Then Adams had been peeking between the wooden slats in the shed wall. He has stayed on the floor and notice bullets coming through the shed wall – just above his head. The shed wall was pierced and much light was admitted. He crept to the door and opened it a crack – firing at the enemy as best he could. The RIC then fired several shots at the door. Adams beat a retreat.

Adams had fired six bullets and had only six left. He loaded his revolver again. He blest himself and took a deep breath. This was it – his chance at martyrdom. Kenneth Adams stood up and held his revolver in both hands. He opened the shed door and aimed at the RIC man in front of him. Adams fired once, twice and again. By that time the RIC had seen him and six men fired at him and fired again. Three bullets struck his torso and he fell to the ground.

”Advance” shouted Workman.

FitzGerald closed in with his rifle still trained on Adams. Adams was still clutching his revolver and he attempted to sit up. FitzGerald paused took aim and fired  three bullets into Adams belly. Adams fell back again and moved no more. FitzGerald noticed Adams’ grip on his revolver loosen and the firearm flopped to the earth.

Cunningham came near the shed door with FitzGerald. FitzGerald nodded to Cunningham who was holding a grenade. FitzGerald kicked the shed door open. Cunningham pulled the pin from his grenade and held it for two seconds before rolling it – not throwing it – into the shed. He then shut the door and both dived away just as an explosion rocked the shed.

Cunningham then got up and stepped over Adams’ dead body to open the shed door and go in.

”Nobody there” said Cunningham in astonishment ”This daft bugger defended shed on his own like”

”Oh shit” said Workman. It was not like him to swear. ”That means that was a holding action. The others have all fled. Left their mate in the lurch. Have to hand it to the bloke. Died like a hero.”

The paused and caught their breath. ”Come on men they can’t be far” said Workman leading them up the hill as the dog barked eagerly.

The other ten IRA men had run to the far side of Fisherton Woods. There was no telling where they would come out. That is why Workman had three horsemen patrolling the meadow above the woods. The horsemen were half a mile apart.

The horsemen faintly heard firing. Then a few minutes later Cooper saw ten raggedly dressed armed men dash out of the woods and through the meadow – heading for some open woodland beyond.

Cooper rode towards them. They were 400 yards away. His adrenaline was pumping. He fired from the saddle. He fired a whole clip ineffectually.

The IRA saw Cooper approached. They stopped and turned. The IRA men began firing towards him. The shots came close but did not hit. Cooper then pulled the reins to stop his horse. He turned her around and dug his heels into her flanks. She was soon galloping away from the enemy. A bullet struck her in the hindquarters and only spurred her on.

Workman’s men reached the edge of the woods five minutes after the had burst into the shed.

”Damn they have escaped” said Workman scanning the horizon ”Buggers must have ten minutes head start. Horsemen did not stop them. I thought we had the rats in a trap. All right back to the IRA camp. Get any identification off the dead man. I noticed they left some food and ammunition. Take those clothes they left behind. They might have been stupid enough to have sewn their named into the clothes. At the very least it will be a scent for Bella. Get our wounded. ”

The RIC returned to the IRA shed and gathered the paraphernalia. The wounded RIC man was  brought home and tended to. He made  full recovery.

The wounded IRA man Stephen Malley was still alive. The RIC got him back to base. He clung to life but was unconscious so could not be interrogated.

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YOU DO NOT SPEAK LIKE THAT.

The IRA flying column moved to Kerry. They camped in a farm owned by a Sinn Feiner. As they relaxed in a barn one evening. Brannock was speaking to the Dubliners  Lorcan Malley and Mick Black. ”There was a race of very small people used to live up in the hills in the back of beyond” said Brannock ”they  were called the Ranties. They lived in caves. All died out in the Famine, d’you see?”

”Is this another one of dem tales from Ballygobackwards?” asked Black. ”I have heard of Pooka and all that”.

”Pooka is not real but the fairies are. Me uncle was out in the mist one day – came home with a terrible cold on him. Died a few days later. People said twas the fairies put a curse on him” said Brannock.

”Another thing fellas – you know that big flat grey rock behind Donegan’s on the road to Clanarolla? Never do anything bad on that rock. That is a mass rock. Do you know?” said Simons.

”A mass rock. What is that? ” said Black.

”You are from Dublin so you would not know. In Penal Times priests were not allowed. We had to hide them. They said mass in houses or outside by a rock. A mass rock is like an altar. The Yeomen were out hunting the priests. So do not offend that rock tis sacred. Then we have the stations” said Simons.

”What is the stations?” said Black.

”Ah don’t you know? Dublin is a different country – seems to me. It reminds us of Penal Times. You know 150 years ago and more when priests were officially not allowed in Ireland and the Prods tried to catch them? The priests were saying mass in houses like I said.  People still have a priest come to their house to say mass. It is a great honour. People will do up the house for it. Paint it new and buy new curtains and all” said Simons.

”The countryside is very different – almost foreign like” said Black ”Me family has lived in Dublin for generations. I was surprised to see so many children going around without shoes. But then in Clountreem I snuck in on market day and the kids all had their shoes on.”

”That is because they put them on at the shoe stone. You know that big white boulder on the way in? The put their shoes on there. They do not want the townspeople to think they are poor and have no shoes. But they only wear shoes on special occasions. I remember after my sister’s first communion she started skipping around for joy.  Well my mother took the shoes off her and beat her bottom with them. She was wearing out the leather in the shoes!” said Simons.

”It is terrible. That is capitalism” said Lorcan.

”Another thing Lorcan” said Simons ”do not go around criticising the church. It is bad enough you say that in Dublin. Do not be saying that here. People here believe that a priests can put horns on you like – a priest can do no wrong”

”All right for the good of the cause until we have beaten the English out of Ireland I will not say what I really think about the church” said Lorcan.

”Most of them men are very religious. Have you not seen us all with our rosaries? We have a man fill a bottle from the holy well every day and we all bless ourselves with it.” said Simons.

”What is a holy well?” asked Black.

”It is a well where the water comes up through rock. A miracle. Each well is for a different saint. It has been like that since time immemorial.” said Simons.

”Ah come on now. I have read up on this. These wells were there in pre Christian times. Each dedicated to a pagan deity. When St Patrick came along we simply re imagined them as pertaining to a Christian saint” said Lorcan.

”Lorcan we will have no more of your city slicker,smart alec, Marxist, atheist ways. This is the country now. Not all people support the IRA you know. If people know what you think more of them will turn neutral or even pro English” said Simons.

”I have found the country to be very different. I heard English people say in Ireland people keep pigs in the parlour. I assumed it was just an English anti Irish myth. But then there was a house where that actually happened. Remember that old bachelor farmer who put us up near Lismanistry?” said Lorcan. ”I know it was only one house we saw where someone had a pig in the house and 100 houses we have seen do not have that. But it proves it can be true sometimes. The English seem to think we all do it. Quite sensible of the old farmer really. Keeps the place warm – prevents the pig being stolen. They are intelligent and clean animals”

”That is a disgrace. No one else does that. Stories like that get around – gets hugely exaggerated. The English then say we Irish are all ignorant and dirty. They are ignorant and the dirty ones” said Simons.

”I wonder how long we will be here? London is talking about a big push. Smash the RIC here and then liberate the area”’ said Lorcan Malley.

”I hope you fellas are there at Christmas” said Simons ”It is great. You should read the Holly Bough – it is Cork’s Christmas newspaper. So funny. We have the wren boys you know?  The song: The wren the wren the king of all birds... and all that. ”

”I know a few people do that in Dublin on Stephen’s Day going from house to house to sing for a treat” said Lorcan.

”Then there is mummery. You know men dressing up as women” said Simons.

”I never heard of that!” said Lorcan. ”It seems in Dublin we are de racinated. The English have taken our culture from us. Tried to anglicise us.”

”We must be more Irish. You want to make us like your Bolsheviks in Russia. I want to make us like America” said Simons. ”Now that is a rich and free country where the Irish rule. We brought civilisation to the Red Indians and the negroes in America. They should thank us for it!”

”You know the English are fighting in Russia – helping the Whites against the Bolshevisk. Just typical of the English to support the reactionaries against the Bolsheviks. Lenin stands for democracy and human rights. There is an Irish loyalist leading English soldiers in Russia. I cannot remember his name. I read about him – up there in north Russia. Ulster’s King of Karelia. Terrible!”

London came along and said ”Workman is driving us hard. And that speech by Alderman Conlan did not help. That was treason. People been informing to the RIC because of that. RIC must have accurate information”

”I am not so sure of that” said Black ”could be luck or the bloodhound.”

”Black – your pal from Dublin got killed. Don’t you want revenge?” said London

”Of course I am sad about Stephen Malley. Not because he was from Dublin but because he was an IRA man. In fact I heard he is still alive. People say he is wounded and the RIC sent him to hospital. This is not about revenge. This is war. Not about personal feeling. Yes, I want to kill the police and drive them out of Ireland”, said Black.

”Our Sinn Fein friends in Clountreem said they come under a lot of pressure since Finnbarr Conlan made that speech.” said London. ”Conlan had started organising peace patrols as he calls them. Men with hurley sticks – trying to stop crime. Telling people not to help us or the RIC. It worries me”

”But the RIC will not pull out of that barracks” said Lorcan Malley.

”If they do we will have it next day” said London

”Exactly and the police know that they are not amadans” said Lorcan.

”Anyway Finnbarr Conlan must be killed for treason to Ireland” said London

”What? All he did was make a speech. I know it is not what we want to hear but the man has a right to speak”, said Black.

”No he did not. He is pro English. He is a traitor to Ireland. We all know the punishment for treason” , said London.

”He is right” said Lorcan ”The man told people not to help the IRA. He deserves to die.”

That night London and Lorcan Malley returned to Clountreem on  stolen horses. They waited outside Alderman Conlan’s house. He sat down to a late dinner with his family.  Lorcan and London hid in some bushes 20 yards away. They both aimed at his chest. London said ”Now” and they both fired six bullets.

Conlan fell face first into his soup.

As they mounted their horses London said, ”if that proves unpopular we can always say the Tans did it.”

 

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