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Monday, 16 May 2011

The Queen she came to call on us . . .

I hope she has a nice visit but I think she should bring a ‘brolly – intermittent rain in the forecast. For those of you not familiar with Irish weather, intermittent rain means that it starts to rain in January and stops in December.

I hope her trip goes well.

Obama is going over too – to Moneygall. Never been there, I think, but I am sure they will make a big fuss over him.

I am going over too – in June but I don’t want everyone to go to any bother – really, I just want a quiet visit. I am meeting up with an old friend, Sean, who now lives in South Africa. Most of the people I grew up with are scattered to the four corners of the world.

“Yerra sure isn’t it all madness,” Finbarr McCarthy decided one night in McMurphy’s, an oasis of whimsy in the disjointed side of Eglington Avenue East, in Toronto. “It’s a madness that we embrace because we are all afraid. We’re afraid that someone might look into our minds and say – Jazus, but you are thinking some strange thoughts in there, me buccko!”

Finbarr is from Cork and all the years in Toronto have re-enforced his commitment to keep himself sane in a world that rushes into madness.

“When you think of it,” he said, pointing his unlit cigarette at me, “Ireland has changed. What with Celtic Tigers running around the place and the people running off to have holidays with the sunny Port-a-gees, visiting with Eduarda’s people – and that’s not a bad thing – they have all become sheer mad for money.

“I suppose in a way that we are the last of the true Celts. You and me, and ‘Ryan-ner’, there, but I can’t be sure about him sometimes, if you know what I am saying, eh?

“We got out before they all got contaminated. We are all that is left of our race – the pure Celt, that’s us – hiding out beyond in McMurphy’s in Toronto, Canada. Yerra Christ, what is the world coming to?”

“True enough for you,” laughed Alan Ryan, with the same smile that he wore when he and Sean and I grew up together in distant Templeogue, back when we were all Irish and before we became Celts.