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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 24, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    ‘Daddy, there’s a bomb scare’

    Pól Ó Muirí

    “Daddy, there’s a bomb scare,” and, within seconds, my little nine-year old daughter, peace process child, has reminded me (born 1965) of west Belfast, the Troubles and a life I thought we had almost left behind. She is learning the dialect of my youth. Yes, there have been other moments for her and the other children over the years but my wife and I have done our best to shelter them from those dark moments. But she is learning that old language of fear that was part of my childhood. “There’s a bomb scare,” she says, “that’s why mummy was late picking us up last night.” And there it is – parent and scare – in one horrible sentence. She knows something is not right.

    She has brown eyes like me but much, much deeper. I call her “súile seacláide” in Irish – “chocolate eyes” – because they are so dark. “Don’t worry, súile seacláide,” I say, “I know another way.” And there begins lesson number two in the old language of fear, “the other way”, ducking and diving your way through “safe” streets and avoiding others.

    I pack them all up in the car, we say our morning “Hail Mary” in Irish for a safe school run and head off into another grey, dirty Northern day.

    • kynos says:

      Sé do bheatha Mhuire
      Ata lán de grásta
      Tá an tir na leat
      Ispanny awho thorough do bhrawn
      Agus ispanny-a-who thourgh do bhrawn Iosa.

      Last time I recited that in Irish it was to win a medal in my local Feis in 1972. Sorry ran out of spelling there just the way I remember it. Suppose having to say it for a medal in a Feis is less conducive to accurate recall then having to say it because there’s a bomb scare. Glad I’m not living in Northern Ireland. Those dreary steeples never seem to go away. My best wishes and hopes for your and your children’s continued safe enjoyment of your lives and that of everyone else living there. There are dark people with dark hearts filled with hate fanaticisim or just plain indifference to the consequences of their actions on others (sociopaths) who do not wish either the Irish or the English or the People of northern Ireland well. On all sides of the argument.

    • Patrick says:

      Only fools want to live in this past tence. The people should let this duh real ira segment know how they feel on this wee auto bomeing in Newry. This island of two countries are both members of the E.U. and should act as such by speaking out to these mindless idiots who think they are tuff by bomeing this wee car in Newry . Tell your children of the past as well of the present. Then speak out and keep religion out of it for it’s about the PEOPLE.


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