Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘What the fock are you doing in a red Lambo?’
Ronan is about to finish college and the old man has a bribe to bring him onside
‘He’s already decided what area of law he wants to go into and it’s definitely not keeping you out of prison’ says Ross to his father.
Where do the years go? No, seriously – it’s only fair to ask. Because it seems like only yesterday that Ronan was arrested for possessing 20 grand’s worth of stolen fireworks and was screaming, “I want to speak to Fachtna Murphy!” from his cell in Finglas Garda station. And now – what, 11 years later? – he’s about to sit his final law exams.
I couldn’t be more proud of him.
The sight of any child of mine even reading a book fills me with the kind of wonder the rest of you might feel if your family dog turned around to you and said, “So how do you think this Brexit thing is going to play out?”
That’s kind of the reason I decide to swing out to his gaff – to find out how the studying is going and to let him know how, like, proud of him I am?
But when I get there, it turns out that the old man is already there ahead of me. Him and Ro are sitting in – quite literally – a red Lamborghini. Ro is pressing his foot down on the accelerator and the thing is growling like a pissed-off lion.
I walk over to the window on the driver’s side and Ro smiles at me. He goes, “What do you think, Rosser?”
Yeah, no, you still haven’t explained why you’re sitting in it, though?
I’m there, “What do I think? I think, what the fock are you doing in a red Lambo? That’s what I think!”
It’s the old man who ends up answering for him? He goes, “This, Kicker, is what a career in serious crime can buy you. This car was paid for with money that came from drug dealing, armed robbery and prostitution.”
I’m like, “What?” suddenly staring at my son. “You told me you had a Saturday morning job in the vape shop above the Broken Orms?”
Ro laughs. He goes, “He’s not thalken about me, Rosser! Tell him where it came from, Grandda!”
The old man’s there, “It came from one of these Gorda auctions, Ross. It was seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau on account of it being bought using the proceeds of serious crime.”
It’s an unbelievable cor, in fairness to it.
Ronan goes, “You’re nebber godda believe who oawunt it, Rosser. I’ll gib you tree guesses.”
I’m like, “The Badger?”
“There’s no bleaten Dormouse, Rosser. It was oawunt by Frankie Maher!”
“You mean ‘Fat’ Frankie Maher?”
My son has worshipped Dublin gangland figures since he was five years old. I know these goys like most parents know the characters from Spongebob Squarepants.
“Fat Frankie’s been libbon in Estepona,” Ronan goes, “ebber since the Cab boys went arthur him. This car was he’s proyut and joy, so it was.”
I’m there, “Yeah, no, you still haven’t explained why you’re sitting in it, though?”
And that’s when he says it. He goes, “Cheerlie’s arthur buying it for me, Rosser.”
I’m there, “Excuse me?”
“That’s right!” the old man goes. “It’s a little present for my grandson to say well done on completing the final year of his law degree! Veni, vidi, vici – for the classicists among us, eh, Ronan?”
I’m there, “Ro, can you give me and your granddad a minute? I need to talk to him about something.”
“Ine going insoyut to get me thriving licence,” he goes, climbing out of the front seat. “Then Ine godda take yous boat for a spin.”
I watch him disappear into the house. There’s a real spring in his step. I haven’t seen him this happy since Mortin Callinan resigned.
As soon as he’s gone, I climb into the driver’s seat and I pull the door shut. I turn around to the old man and I go, “I know what you’re playing at.”
He’s like, “Afraid I don’t follow you, Kicker.”
“Yeah, no,” I go, “don’t give me the wounded innocence act. You’re trying to get him interested in the criminal underworld again – in the hope that he accepts Hennessy Coghlan-O’Hara’s offer of an apprenticeship.”
“Nothing could be further from my mind, Ross!”
“I’m just letting you know that you’re wasting your time. He has no interest in being your consigliere.”
“You do know that’s slanderous, don’t you?”
“He’s already decided what area of law he wants to go into and it’s definitely not keeping you out of prison or helping you hide the proceeds from your own criminal activities.”
There, on the side of the cor, in freshly spray-painted letters, it says, 'Rat Bastard!'
“I wasn’t aware he’d decided anything,” he goes. “What area of law is he thinking about now?”
And I’m like, “Environmental.”
The old man bursts out laughing. He laughs for a good, like, 10 seconds until he realises that I’m not laughing? That I’m actually serious?
“Environmental law?” he goes. “Surely that’s not a thing now.”
I’m like, “Yes, it’s very much a thing now?”
“So who the hell is the client?”
“The planet is the client.”
“The planet? Good Lord! Does it pay well?”
“I’ve no idea. Sorcha got him interested in it.”
“Ah,” the old man goes, like the penny has suddenly dropped. “I might have known that your good lady wife would be at the bottom of this!”
“Well, either way, his mind is made up.”
“He might change it.”
“He won’t change it. And this cor is going back.”
“My son is not driving around in a Lambo that used to belong to one of Ireland’s best-known gangland criminals.”
“Oh, where’s the horm in it, Ross? It’s only a bit of fun!”
“You heard what he said. This was ‘Fat’ Frankie Maher’s pride and joy.”
“Well, Fat Frankie has bigger things on his mind, according to Ronan. It seems he’s recently fled Estepona after a row with ‘Dangerous’ Dave Duggan. He’s apparently hiding somewhere in the Middle East.”
Suddenly, Ronan is standing at the window on the driver’s side. He’s like, “What in the nayum of Jaysus?”
I’m there, “Excuse me?”
“Too busy gabbing away,” he goes, “that you didn’t eeben see it happen!”
I’m like, “See what happen? What are you talking about, Ro?”
He goes, “That!” and he points at the side of the cor.
I end up having to get out to have a look. And there, on the side of the cor, in freshly spray-painted letters, it says, “Rat Bastard!” and, “Fat Frankie – Police Informer!”
And all Ronan can say is, “Ah, well – I was thinking of painting it black in anyhow.”