“No, no – although I do believe that the occasional namecheck is the least that you and go-getters like you deserve at this difficult juncture in our history. No, sadly, it’s in relation to this penalty points business.”
“What penalty points business?” “Well, it seems that Clare Daly and Mick Wallace – the bloody nerve of that man, by the way! – they’ve got their hands on some kind of, quote-unquote, dossier. Contains the names of some 50,000 people who’ve had penalty points expunged.”
I just stare at him, obviously confused. I’m like, “I’ve never had penalty points expunged.” “That’s not strictly true,” he goes – he can’t even look at me when he says it. “Matter of fact, it’s not true at all.” I end up totally losing it with him. “You and Hennessy! Jesus, you two are unbelievable.”
He ends up losing it with me then? He goes, “How the hell do you think you’ve been driving all these years? Good God, Ross, you’ve accumulated more points behind the wheel than you kicked in the famous 1999 Leinster Schools Senior Cup campaign. And that was a lot of points, lest anyone forget!”
He’s actually right. There was one day on the N11 recently when I happened to be riding the bomper of this particular dude who just, like, refused to move into the slow lane, even when I gave him six or seven blasts of the old full beams. Turned out to be an unmorked Gorda cor. I got two points for careless slash reckless driving, two points for speeding, two for being on the phone, maybe another two for not having a valid tax disk displayed. I suppose they do all add up. And maths was never by strongest subject at school.
I’m there, “So, what, now my name is about to be dragged through the basic mud?”
The old man nods. “And at a time when you’re making such a vital contribution towards the resuscitation of this country’s ailing finances,” he goes. “But don’t you worry about a thing, Ross. Your godfather and I are going to do our darnedest to stop your name coming out in the – quote unquote – wash.”
Before he leaves, he points his unlit Cohiba at the mountain of paper waiting to be fed into the machine. “After you shred it,” he goes, “incinerate it immediately. The FBI have come up with a way of piecing shredded documents back together. They’ll have the technology here eventually. And there’s secrets in those bags that the country doesn’t need to know.”
Then he’s suddenly gone. You have to hand it to my old man. Even in his sixties, he’s still possibly Ireland’s most crooked man. And that’s in a field of thousands. You have to say fair focks.
The Ort of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, an exhibtion by Alan Clarke, is on show at the Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin 2, until December 24th