Ronan shot me a look like he’d just watched me pull a five-metre length of intestine out of the bottom of my chinos
I was driving the Shred Focking Everything van – Old Amnesia, as the old man calls it – up Kildare Street on Thursday lunchtime, when I suddenly spotted Ronan standing at the pedestrian lights opposite Buswell’s, with quite literally a notebook under his orm.
I gave him a blast of the horn to wake him from his little daydream, then he jumped into the front passenger seat with a delighted smile and an, “Alright, Rosser, you benny!” which is the usual way my son greets me.
I was like, “What’s the deal with the notebook, Ro?”
And he went, “Ine doing a bit of homewoork,” which at first I took to mean that he was back watching the movements of various cash-in-transit vans going about their business in the city, taking down their licence plates, the number of personnel they used and the times at which they delivered money to individual banks – which was an actual hobby of Ronan’s for a couple of years.
I was like, “Ro, I thought we’d been through this. You have the brains to make an actual honest living? You don’t need to go that route.”
“No,” he went, “Ine talking proper homewoork. Ine arthur being in the National Library. Ine doing some reseerch on the 1916 Rising.”
I was like, “The what?” and I genuinely meant it.
Ronan shot me a look like he’d just watched me pull a five-metre length of intestine out of the bottom of my Chinos.
“You’ve never heerd of the 1916 Easter Rising?”
“I played schools rugby to a very high level, bear in mind. So what was it?”
“It was the vodunteer uprising against British rule that lead to eer indepentince, Rosser.”
“Keep going. I’m definitely listening.”
“Jaysus, how could you not know about the 1916 Rising? Fifteen hundord-n-odd eermed rebels took over key buildings in the city centre. The GPO. The Fower Courts. The Boland’s and Jacob’s factoddys . . .”
“Are we talking about the GPO on
I laughed. “That’s, like, so random, isn’t it? How you can, like, walk around town and there’s all this, I don’t know, history around you that no one knows about. Anyway, why are you suddenly interested in it?”
He used to spend his summer holidays in Dr Quirkey’s Goodtime Emporium, kicking the fock out of the coin cascades and trying to steal whatever money dropped before the security gords responded to the alorm. They grow up so fast.
“Ine just inthorested,” he went, “because me Grandda said his Grandda fought in it.”
I was like, “Your Grandda? As in, my old man?”
“So – let me get this straight – my old man’s grandfather fought in this supposedly big thing that you’re talking about?”
I laughed. I was like, “It’s the first I’ve ever heard of it.”
“Well, the thing is,” Ronan went, “I caddent foyunt any record of him. There’s no Donie Kelly listed addywhere among the combatants.”