‘Look me in the eye, Rosser. Did you hab sex with my wife that neet?’

That’s not a question you want to hear from a well-known gangland criminal

“Being able to look people in the eye while lying to them is the first skill that I wrote down on my LinkedIn profile”

“Being able to look people in the eye while lying to them is the first skill that I wrote down on my LinkedIn profile”

 

So I’m sitting in the back of a black Merc with Grievous Bodily Horm, one of Ireland’s best-known gangland criminals, and he tells his chauffeur to just drive.

“In a nordoddy direction,” he goes.

And that’s when the fear really hits me. I try to be brave, though. I think about the dude whose job it is to keep clamping Cian Healy’s jeep and I think that’s the kind of courage I’m going to need now.

“God,” I go, “the last time I saw you, you were being dragged into the back of a police van with your son in Estepona. ”

He’s like, “Thee broke me watch, so thee did. The one Melissa got me for eer tortieth wedding addiversoddy.”

“But you weren’t chorged with anything?”

“Kepp us in for 48 hours – the doorty-looken doort boords – then lerrus out. Insufishiddent ebidence – ast me boddicks. Are you alreet, Rosser?”

“Yeah, no, I’m fine, Grievous.”

“It’s just your breeding’s arthur going all fuddy since we crossed oaber the East Link Berridge.”

I’m always tense on this side of the world. I keep hearing Philip Boucher-Hayes, in his Crime Call voice, going: “This is the last time Ross O’Carroll-Kelly was seen alive.”

I’m there, “I’m Kool and the Gang, Grievous,” trying to sound less frightened than I actually am. “I’m Kool and the Gang.”

He goes, “I grew up arowunt hee-or. I might lib in Estepona but this is where Ine from – do you know I mee-un?”

“I do, Grievous. I genuinely do.”

“It stiddle feels like howum – eeben though it’s arthur going dowun hiddle the last 15 yee-or. All these bleaten yuppies moobin in. Pushing up the prices and pushing out the real people. I blayum estate agents for that – doorty scum fooks.”

I’m suddenly trying to look less estate agenty. Which basically means taking my sunglasses off my head.

He goes, “I wanth to thalk to you about the night that me and Actual were addested.”

I’m like, “Yeah, no, fire away, Grievous.”

“Actual said he saw he’s mutter’s keer on the sthreet – do you member that?”

“Vaguely.”

“She said she was leabon the bar to go back to the apeertment. But an hour later, she’s still peerked on the sthreet. Why ditn’t she go sthraight howum?”

“It’s a bit of a mystery, in fairness to it.”

“A birrof a mister doddy is reet.”

The Rossmeister Speaks

“And did you ask her about it?”

“She said she couldn’t steert the keer.”

“There you are then.”

“But that dudn’t explayun the udder thing.”

“What udder thing? Other thing?”

“She was happy for about a week arthur. Ine thalken about proper bleaten happy. She was walken arowunt the apeertment sigging, ‘I gorra a feeding – that tonight’s godda be a good night . . . ’ ”

“That song can get annoying after a while.”

“Veddy annoying. Especially wit her sigging it. But the oatenly toyum Melissa’s ebber in that koyunt of mood is when she’s getting it?”

“When you say getting it . . . ”

“Playing arowunt, Rosser. Wit someone udder than me.”

I’m remembering her and Ronan’s animal noises coming from the back of that Citroën Picasso. I hope he’s not going to ask me to give up my son. Even though I probably will give him up if it looks like I’m going to be tortured.

He goes, “I’ve been aston arowunt, Rosser – about you.”

I’m like, “Me?”

“That’s reet. And Ine heardon all sorts of stordies.”

“What kind of stories?”

“Ine heardon you’re a birrof a ladies man.”

It’s funny, even though I’m terrified, I’m also a little bit flattered here?

“Who were you talking to?” I go. “Was it Jamie Heaslip?”

He’s like, “Nebber moyunt who I was thalken thoo. That’s what was said to me: ‘Ross O’Cattle-Keddy? That fedda would get up on a clipped ditch.’”

“It’s nice that I’m still recognised for that.”

We keep driving. He doesn’t say anything for a minute or two. Then he goes, “You know, I shouldn’t eeben be in the cunter doddy.”

I’m like, “In the what?”

“The cunter doddy. This cunter doddy. Arelint.”

“Oh, Ireland – right.”

“There’s one or two of me former associates are throyen to put me ourrof the pitcher – do you know Ine saying?”

“You’re a morked man.”

“A meerked madden is reet. But I had to come back. I had to come back to ast you the question to your face. Look me in the eye, Rosser – hee-or, look me in the eye! – and ted me the troot. Did you hab sex with my wife that neet?”

Being able to look people in the eye while lying to them is the first skill that I wrote down on my LinkedIn profile. I’m an estate agent – as well as Ireland’s most unfaithful husband. And anyway I’m actually telling the truth when I turn around to him and go, “Grievous, I didn’t go near your wife that night.”

He stares at me for the longest 20 seconds of my life, then he goes, “That’s what she said.”

I’m there, “There you are then. We can all relax.”

“She said you’d do nuttin ford her.”

“Right.”

“She said, ‘The fedda in the sailing shoes? Looks like he’s going on a boat thrip? He’d do fook-all for me, Grievous.’ ”

“That’s, er, nice to hear.”

“She said, ‘He looks like the kind of fedda wouldn’t know how to satisfy a woman.’”

“Jesus, she really dissed me from a height, didn’t she?”

He taps his driver on the shoulder then and goes, “Pud over hee-or,” which is what the driver does. Then Grievous goes, “Go on – gerrout, Rosser.”

I’m like, “Here?” because we’re in the middle of what I call Not South Dublin.

“Ine going back to the air powert,” Grievous goes. “Gib young Ronan me best. Ted him I said good luck with the weddon.”

I’m like, “Yeah, no, I’ll pass that on – no problem.”

I get out of the cor. As I do, he grabs a handful of my shirt and he goes, “I’ll foyunt out the troot, Rosser. And whoebber it was in that keer with Melissa – he’s a dead man walken.”

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