See Profiles or Blog Stories


Believe it or not...

by Charlie Murray
Believe it or not this post starts with "I met this guy in a bar". Actually it was several guys in a pub. I bought the bar a round and for the rest of the night my money was no good and my hand was never empty.  These guys are very much Republican and very strong in their beliefs. The first was Jim.  Jim is the manager of the Irish Language arts center and he introduced me to everyone else.  He also wants to have lunch one day so that he can tell me his story.  One of his friends is Noel.  Noel has many tattoos honoring the Republicans including one of Bobby Sands on his inside forearm.  This man is an American football fan and we hit it off right away.  He invited me to his house to watch the national championship game Monday night.  With Jim and Noel was Cathal (Charles in Irish).  Cathal had many tattoos as well including his name with a Fighting Irishman above it.   Another person I met was William McGuinness, brother of Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuinness and owner of Peadar O’Donnells.  Last night I met a man that was in prison for 16 years during the troubles and he gave me his phone number so that I will call him and get his story.  He works with an organization called Tarabnaile or “Going Home”.  Finally, I met a couple from Armagh that was here on holiday and I actually introduced them to Jim with whom they got on well with.  The couple’s names were Terrence and Dana.  They told me about Armagh and gave me the name of the best pub to visit.  At one point the subject of the boy in the gasmask came up and when I asked who it was I was told not to ask.  There was a lot of conversation between all my new friends that I know included sensitive information, but the accents were such that I could only pick out bits and pieces.  I didn’t ask questions for fear of learning things I may not want to know.  All of these people just want to tell their story.  They want to be sure we are getting both sides.  They are also committed to peace.  I asked them point blank “will there be violence again or will peace be the way of the future”?  The answer was “peace is the only way”.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.