Thursday, January 25, 2018


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There I was on the footpath outside the Dáil on the Merrion St. side, holding a camera through the railings to get a better angle on the transported English Queen's consort, when I saw a Garda approaching fast on my port side.

Best to take the bull by the horns I thought. "That's a fine statue" sez I, and this being Ireland, that's how I ended up in a half hour's conversation with senior Garda Chris Burdock.

Then it was time for him to go as his relief arrived. And at that precise moment we were interrupted by a passing Enda Kenny who, half addressing Chris while looking at me, made a remark that I took to have something to do with football. I still don't know whether he was telling me to be careful with this man as he was a footballing hero in his day or commiserating with me on the ongoing curse on the Mayo team. Enda is a big supporter, him being from Castlebar and all that.

Anyway, by that time my conversation with Chris had covered the transporting of the English Queen to the colony, the burning of the British Embassy in 1972 at which both of us had been present, his ancestor's escapades in the War of Independence and the Civil War, the Dublin and Monaghan bombings and, of course, the best chips in town.

His ancestors were also Pakenhams (yes them ones) and I took great pleasure in explaining to him how I took issue with Pakenham's Year of the French, when it came his evaluation of the Sheares brothers's recruitment of the double agent, Captain Armstrong, in 1798.

He countered with how his relationship to the Pakenhams facilitated his skipping the queue outside St. Paul's in London and ending up getting him the VIP treatment inside.

Before we parted, I pointed out to him the lady breastfeeding above the Attorney General's Office. This arose out of another aspect of our conversation, and he was interested to be made aware that we had been in there at the very beginning of the twentieth century, a whole hundred years before the current controversy erupted into the public sphere.

We could still be there were it not for his relief turning up on time and Enda rudely interrupting us. Kinda broke the spell.

However, we agreed to pick up on the conversation again, next time we meet.

I love this city.

Link to an earlier post

1 comment:

Póló said...

And, just by the way, we also covered the DMP (his side) and the RIC (my side).

We were also happy to leave Albert alone now that the missus had been gotten rid of.