Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘You found 10 bags of cocaine and you go to the police?’
Ro learns how to handle found goods, from the master, Hennessy
‘When God was giving out brains, you were in the queue for testicles!’
Hennessy looks at me like he’s imagining killing me with his bare hands. Which he almost certainly is.
“You did what?” he goes.
I’m there, “I found 10 bags of coke stashed in the Lambo that the old man bought from the Criminal Assets Bureau. ”
Ronan’s like, “Thee were in the speer toyer, Heddessy.”
“Not that part of the story,” Hennessy goes, still staring at, like, me? “I want you to tell me again what happened next.”
I’m there, “Yeah, no, I handed them in to the Gords.”
That’s the port of the story he seems to have a definite problem with because he basically explodes then.
He goes, “When God was giving out brains, you were in the queue for testicles!”
I’m there, “Excuse me?”
“You found 10 bags of cocaine and your first thought was to go to the police with them?”
'You’re arthur landing me in seerdious bother, Rosser. This associate of Fat Frankie says I hab 48 hours to hand over the thrugs, Heddessy – or else the equibalent in cash'
Ronan goes, “Ine ashamed to be his son, Heddessy. Ashamed.”
Hennessy’s there, “What have you been taught all your life? You get into trouble, who do you ring?”
I’m like, “My old school obviously.”
“And if your old school can’t help you?”
“Then I ring, I don’t know, you?”
“Then… you… ring… me! So why didn’t you?”
“Because – being honest – you’re a bad influence on my son.”
“What did you just say?”
“Dude, it’s true. When you offered him that apprenticeship, I was actually relieved when he turned you down? Because I don’t want him seeing you as some kind of role model.”
Hennessy just nods in response to this. Then he goes, “So who’s his role model going to be? You?”
Ronan’s there, “You’re arthur landing me in seerdious bother, Rosser. This associate of Fat Frankie says I hab 48 hours to hand over the thrugs, Heddessy – or else the equibalent in cash.”
Hennessy looks at me again. He goes, “So that’s when you decide to show up at my front door?”
'Hennessy kept him out of jail for 27 years,' trying to make it sound actually bad – except for Hennessy it’s a source of, like, actual pride?
He shakes his head, then he disappears into his gaff, then reappears a few seconds later, holding his briefcase – the one with two bullet holes in it.
He’s like, “Get in the car – both of you.”
I’m there, “Where are we going?”
“We’re going to get those drugs back and return them to their rightful owner.”
Thirty seconds later, we’re sitting in Hennessy’s vintage Jag – Ro in the front passenger seat and me in the back – and we’re on the road.
Hennessy storts – I want to say – regaling Ronan with stories from his legal career, including the time he represented Mark “Musky” Mannion, one of Ronan’s gangland heroes from the 1970s and 1980s.
“You represented ‘Musky’ bleaten Mannion?” Ro goes, his voice travelling up the octaves like Celine Byrne’s. He turns around in his seat to me. “He’s a legend in the Dublin criminal wurdled, Rosser. He was the foorst man to ebber to import Class A thrugs into Ireland. ”
And I’m there, “Well, Hennessy kept him out of jail for 27 years,” trying to make it sound actually bad – except for Hennessy it’s a source of, like, actual pride?
He goes, “There was one time, they arrested him on Curracloe Beach with four million quid’s worth of drugs. They had him on video, giving directions to the team that was transferring the drugs into a fleet of cars. I mean, he was caught red-handed.”
“And what happened?” Ronan goes, on literally – I think it’s a phrase – tender hooks?”
'He burned his tongue on the cup of tea they gave him during a break between interviews. We sued the State for his injuries and a fear of hot drinks proffered by strangers'
“I got him off,” Hennessy goes. “They messed up the paperwork.”
I’m there, “Yeah, no, think of all the misery those drugs would have brought to people’s lives. And Hennessy is proud that he put that man back on the streets.”
“He was entitled to defeddence,” Ronan goes, “no mathor what he was apposed to have done.”
“Not only did I get him off,” Hennessy goes, a big smirk on his face, “I got him £50,000 in compensation.”
“Fifty grant? For wrongful addest?”
“No, he burned his tongue on the cup of tea they gave him during a break between interviews. We sued the State for his injuries, as well as depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and panic disorder, and a fear of hot drinks proffered by strangers.”
Ronan shakes his head in wonder. See, this is what I knew would happen?
Hennessy goes, “That’s why I tell all of my clients – including your grandfather, Ronan – the first thing you do after you’re arrested is ask for a cup of tea.”
He pulls up outside the Gorda station.
I’m there, “So what are you planning to do now?”
Hennessy goes, “I’m going to get the drugs back.”
“And how do you propose to do that?”
He taps his temple with his forefinger. “By using my brilliant legal mind,” he goes.
He takes the briefcase out of the foot well in front of Ronan and he says he won’t be long. Then into the Gorda station he morches.
I’m there, “Ro, you don’t want to take anything that man says too seriously.”
He goes, “Is all that true, but?”
Ronan lays the briefcase flat on his lap and flicks the two locks. He opens the case and the bags, of course, are all in there
“Yes, it’s all true. But that shouldn’t make him some kind of hero, Ro. I’m sure they told you in UCD that there are two different kinds of solicitors – the ones who choose the good side and the ones who choose the bad side. And remember this moment, Ro, because this is the moment when you have two paths in front of you.”
He goes, “It’s just that Heddessy makes the law sound exciting, Rosser.”
And I’m there, “Ro, you’re planning to spend the next year working as an intern in a Free Legal Advice centre. Don’t tell me that’s not going to have its moments,” but I can feel the words dying on my lips.
A few seconds later, Hennessy is walking towards us again, briefcase in hand. He opens the door and he’s whistling Nessun Dorma. He climbs into the cor and he hands the briefcase to Ro. From his reaction, I can tell that it’s heavy.
Hennessy storts the cor and says fock-all. I want to ask what happened but I don’t want to give him the satisfaction?
But Ronan lays the briefcase flat on his lap and flicks the two locks. He opens the case just as Nessun Dorma reaches its famous crescendo. And the bags, of course, are all in there.
“Heddessy,” Ronan goes, “I want to woork with you. I want you to teach me everything you know.”