According to a recent BBC report, many Protestants in east Belfast, now want to join the IRA. Because of BBC censorship, I can't show you's the video clip proof of it, so I will try to explain in this article. The first time I was in British Occupied Ireland, I went for a few pints with Paddy Barry to Iris Wilson's pub in Lawrencetown, which is outside the loyalist town of Banbridge. Paddy was the father of many, many children who had settled down there, after travelling the length and breath of Ireland, having married the daughter of Maggie Barry, who was Queen of the Gypsies. Paddy was the father of my first wife, who was as difficult a person as I am. He lived in a Caravan near the border, outside Crossmaglen with his wife Norah, her mother Maggie and their large family for many years. They fed themselves in hard times, smuggling a few pounds of butter, now and agin,(yes, I can spell) across the border. Ye see, the RUC men were too phukin lazy, to empty the creel of numerous sods of turf and put them back again. This is where the famous song, the Turfman from Ardee comes from. Unfortunately some phukwit has removed it from YouTube but this will give you a feel of the bould Maggie.
So, as is the custom in Ireland, with its bar culture and I being his new son-in-law, we got to chatting about the buffers around the place. He was an earnest man, which is a rare commodity these days in Ireland. He said, "Brian people have no nature in them anymore" words that have stuck with me, in the many years since. So I got to askin him, about his experiences traveling Ireland, in the days before the troubles, and I was particularly struck by one of his experiences.
You need to remember, that these were the days before contraceptives, where people could not afford to jump on the Belfast train, for the morning after pill, and people being human beings, did what every other species do and phuk like phuk. In Ireland with the added lubricant of drink, this happens on a phenomenal scale, altogether. In fact in my own case, I just had to throw my trousers into the bedroom and out popped a child nine months later. Mind you, this does not seem to have stopped in my own case, even after I put down the drink, with the result, that I am the proud father of 10 children, with 5 different mothers, all of them beautiful, healthy, children thanks to the Big Spirit albeit with very difficult women, as a lot of Irish women, Germans and Asians tend to be.
Anyway to get back to Paddy Barry, and not be going on about myself all the time, I asked him, why he preferred to drink in a Protestant pub, rather than a Catholic one. He told me Protestants were more trustworthy than a lot of Roman Catholics, as opposed to Celtic Catholics, something that only a Crossmaglen man might understand. So being myself, I pushed it a bit further, as I have a habit of doing, to scratch people, to try to find what is really under their thin veneer of civility.
He said the me," Brian you are from the west of Ireland, and the first thing you need to understand about people drinking in pubs in the north of Ireland, is that, " They are all whoremasters." So pushing it a bit more, he reiterated in a loud voice, "WHOREMASTERS." Well he was a very big, fit, man and despite his age, could certainly take care of himself. So I didn't push it anymore, because this was a time just after the Reavey and Dowd families were wiped out in that area, when the British RUC police, walked into their homes and just opened up and shot most of them indiscriminately.So not wanting to provoke a row, as often happens in the North, when you're being honest, and their being a fair chance, that a few RUC men were there, I dropped the subject and asked him instead, about days travelling in the south of Ireland.
He told me, that times were very hard for travelling people in those days in Ireland, particularly in winter. He told me that a lot of priests in those days wouldn't baptize traveler's children and where in one instance in the middle of winter, where he took his dying child to the local priest to be baptized, who refused and sent him away. A couple of days later Paddy returned with the dead child in his arms, asking for permission to bury his child, but was refused permission to bury it in the cemetery, because the same child was not baptized.He dug the ground and buried the child himself, just outside the cemetery wall, still a better fate than the babies in Tuam.
Well fortunately, we were joined by his wife Norah later on that evening, who lightened the place up, with some of the most beautifully sung Irish songs, that I ever heard. Mind you there was an unmerciful row in the house later on that night, when we returned home and I told her mother Maggie, who was one of Ireland's most favourite singers, that her daughter was a better singer than her. Maggie lifted a big armchair and fired it at me, calling me all the bastards under the Sun. I learned that night, that it wasn't just because of her singing, that Maggie became Queen of the Gypsies. Mind you her granddaughter took after her. So there you are, that was the way of it.
Year's later, I was to learn the hard way again, that there was a lot of truth in Paddy's summation of whoremasters. From many years in the north of Ireland, I found them to be the most hearty people in Ireland and I still miss them, but if I was to join the IRA again, it would need to be a Protestant IRA. It's a bit like when I was going to join the priesthood, as my mother reared me to be, you can measure as often as you like but only cut once. These Durty Marty wannabee's in Derry are not my cup of tea at all, at all. I think Marty has polluted the City with the Queen's shite, beyond immediate redemption. As the saying goes..."Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Now of course, men have been shot for writing less than that sort of thing, but then as another famous Irishman from the West Indies, Bob Marley put it..."My hand was made strong by the hand of ..." I still can't figure out, how the phuk did he write such profound songs, smoking all that weed? Now if after reading all this, you are feeling suicidal, then just go down to Crossmaglen and sing a few verses of the song below or better still, go into Conor Murphy's PSNI office and give him a full throated rendition!
- Come all ye bold teetotallers and list(?) to me a while,
And if you close attention pay I'll cause you to smile;
No story of Grecian queen, nor tale of Trojan say
But a tale of woe that happened so with whiskey in me tay.
I was a bold teetotaller for three long years and more,
The neighbours all respected me and decent clothes I wore,
My family were fond of me till one unlucky day
Just like a child I was beguiled with whiskey in me tay.
I only took the smallest sup when up the ructions rose,
I saw that I was put upon and slaughtered friends and foes,
A Polisman(?) surrounded me and hauled me up next day,
The charge was read and duly pled, 'twas whiskey in me tay.
From Carrickmacross to Crossmaglen the polisman(?) did vow
There are more rogues than honest men as any will allow,
It isn't rogues or honest men the Justice then did say,
We deal with now, but a drunken row from whiskey in his tay.
This man he was a sober man for three long years or more
The neighbours all respected him and decent clothes he wore,
The story is an ancient one the justice did say,
He'll pay up bail or go to gaol for whiskey in his tay.
So all bold teetotalers if sober you would be
Be careful of your company and mind what happened to me,
It wasn't the lads from Shercock or the boys from Ballybay,
But the dealing men from Crossmaglen put whiskey in me tay.