‘A convicted criminal is what this female student person called me!’

Ross O’Carroll Kelly: The old man has a plan to stop him being no-platformed by UCD

The old man has turned to me for advice as to how young people think

The old man has turned to me for advice as to how young people think

 

“How dare they?” the old man goes. “How bloody well dare they?”

Yeah, no, a girl from the UCD Students Union has apparently been on the radio, telling Seán O’Rourke why they’re opposing my old man’s offer of a blank cheque to put up an O’Carroll-Kelly Building on the Belfield campus.

“A convicted criminal is what this female student person called me!” he goes. “And our friend from Montrose never said a bloody well word to correct the record!”

I’m there, “But you are a convicted criminal. I was there at your trial. I was shouting, ‘Hanging’s too good for him!’ at the judge, remember?”

“I was convicted, Ross, thanks to the improper use of Garda Síochána resources! The Criminal Assets Bureau was set up to investigate working class white-collar criminals, not ones like me! Hennessy was all for seeking a judicial review of the case except it was abundantly clear at that point that the State needed to send someone to jail and it might as well have been me!”

Hennessy walks in then. Into my kitchen. He apparently has a key to my house now. Which is news to me. He goes, “Charlie, you ran out of the Shelbourne in a hurry, leaving a double cognac behind on the bar. What the Hell is going on?”

The old man’s there, “You drink it, old scout! I’m afraid I’ve rather lost my appetite!”

It’s not racist to say that people from the country who move to Dublin refuse to assimilate! It’s a statement of fact!

“Is this about that girl?”

“I know what you’re going to say, Hennessy – that people like us should remain above the fray in such matters! Natura non facit saltum ita nec lex, as Virgil would have no doubt put it, had anyone cared to ask the chap! But it still hurts, old bean! It hurts like a something, something, something! That’s why I came out here to talk to Kicker – to find out if he could give me a young person’s take on why people seem to hate Charles O’Carroll-Kelly so much!”

I laugh. “Er, I’m hordly young,” I go. “But I can tell you why people my own age hate you.”

“I mean, what the hell is wrong with the younger generation?” he goes. “I’m offering them this building free, gratis and for nothing! Not only are they refusing my philanthropy – they’re refusing to even hear my reasons for wanting to force this gift on them!”

I’m there, “Yeah, you got no-platformed, Dude.”

Listen to Ross

“Quote-unquote! What I’d like to know is why?”

“You know why. It’s because you’re a crook. And a racist.”

“It’s not racist to say that people from the country who move to Dublin refuse to assimilate! It’s a statement of fact! Jesus, look at Rathmines! People from Wexford, Galway, Roscommon, Leitrim – have you ever heard the likes of it? – living in their own little monocultural enclaves, repatriating their wages and refusing to integrate with the wider community!”

“You’re also a sexist.”

“Yes, I do have – I will admit – certain old-fashioned views when it comes to the difference between men and women, as befits a man of my generation, my background and my upbringing! I grew up in an age of chivalry, Ross! I am not going to apologise for holding a door open for a woman – or for saying that seeing a woman working in a bank always gives me a little chuckle to think how far we’ve come in the name of so-called progress! Although, I will confess, if I’m making a withdrawal and the cashier is a woman, I always make sure to count my money twice!”

“See? This is what I mean. You’re a dinosaur – except, unlike the dinosaurs, you’re actually real.”

“What people like you and that student person seem to forget, Ross, is that there is a large constituency of people out there like me, who have been silenced out of fear of causing – inverted commas – offence!”

“Silenced? You? They can hear you out there on the focking Stena ferry!”

“And whether young people care to listen to us or not, people like us will insist on being heard! We won’t be cowed by . . .”

He suddenly stops. He goes, “That’s it, Hennessy! That’s bloody well it!”

Hennessy’s there, “You’ve had one of your ideas, haven’t you?”

“You’re damn right I’ve had one of my ideas! Hennessy, you’ve worked in and around the Law Library for – what is it – 40 years? What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in all that time?”

If people refuse to hear what you’re saying, you simply speak over them! 

“Never ask a client a question if you think you’re not going to like the answer.”

“I mean, in the area of debate, old chap! In the cut-and-thrust of the cross-examination process! You use your loud voice and overbearing manner as a weapon against people!”

“I like the way you’re thinking.”

“If people refuse to hear what you’re saying, you simply speak over them! And if they still refuse to listen, you increase the volume until they have no bloody well choice but to listen!”

“You’re giving me goosebumps, Charlie.”

“I’m giving myself goosebumps, old scout! Do you remember what we did a few years ago, when we had all those bloody well protestors outside the gates of Portmarnock Golf Club, demanding that we admit lady members?”

“We hired the biggest speaker we could find and we played rap music in their ears until they couldn’t take any more and focked off.”

Yeah, no, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I put the playlist together for them. What can I say? I was young, I needed the money.

The old man goes, “That’s what we shall do then! If the so-called students of UCD don’t wish to listen to my reasons for wanting to give them a Charles O’Carroll-Kelly building for use as a, well, something or other, then I will give them no choice but to hear me! How dare they think they can silence people like us! I am Charles O’Carroll-Kelly – hear me roar!”

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