The Bombmakers

Tonight The Pensive Quill features a short story by guest writer, Carrie Twomey

The Bombmakers

Seamie could have been twelve, maybe thirteen. He and his mates gathered in the back garden, the evening summer long. As usual, they had nothing much to do. One of his older brothers was in the kitchen, at the table with their ma, both of them smoking the evening away with languid gossip and chatter. Seamie didn't understand why his brother bothered with their ma. Their da and other brothers were away at the pub, drinking and playing pool. No one ever made the connection to the misery of the week, before the dole cheques came, with the drunken revelry of the weekend that often ended with someone's head getting busted. The pent up frustration of poverty — no food, no heat, everyone was expected to fend for himself and to make do with hand-me-down shoes, worn jumpers and never anything new — lent itself to rage that often exploded at home.

Some of his sisters had gone to the disco. Their escape was in the possibility of love, but it was more likely to come in sex. His youngest sister Maeve wanted to tag along with him. Being the youngest she had no fear and was more adventureous and typically romantic than her sisters. No harm to her, he thought, she could more than hold her own with his lot. He'd look after her anyway; she was his father's daughter. Seamie, protector — he puffed himself up with pride at the image of himself.

Seamie, Maeve and his mates gathered themselves and headed to their tiny kingdom, the Fort Na Gig Estates. Sometime ago, a supreme authority had deemed it more proper for the people to be housed in terrible, umpteen stories high complexes rather than the run down worn-in neighbourhoods they did live in, and the Housing Executive erected the Estates. Surprisingly enough, no one wanted to live in them, and the people who did end up there did not stay long. Squatters and winos and druggies took over and decent respectable people left. The edifice was set to be demolished soon, but the neighbouring kids deemed themselves first crack at destruction.

It was a great place to test bravery and foolhardiness, hardiness being the word; this was their way of metting out the hard men they would become. "Walk this ledge here," the ledge being 60 feet, though it seemed like 160 feet off the ground. "Walk it, don't run, dont cry and for chrissakes dont shite your pants," while they pelted each other with bricks and stones. "Just practising our aim, you see." Any fixtures or furniture that had been left behind were great for wrecking and smashing. Seamie pictured his da's screaming face filled with rage then pained surprise as he smashed a porcelain bowl to bits. "That'll shut you up yew oul bastard!" The refrain was familiar, all the mates growled one version or another as they worked away. They threw things at each other, as a silent test: who was the big sissy, who ducked out of the way? Who cared? They all were, hiding out here, taking out their rage and stymied frustration in the indigo twilight of broken windows. They took it out on inanimate objects instead of where the source really lay. As if they could face that source, or even name it. As if their fathers could.

The best part of their play came when they tired of the smashing, throwing and taunting and began collecting for their bonfire. They'd lazily search for bits of wood and the ancient blood in them would begin to stir, old memories whispering in their heads. They'd build their fire, and then, one by one as the mood took them, they'd tell stories and jokes, sing songs — bastardise popular songs really, and try to scare the shit out of each other with the ghost stories their older brothers would haunt them with after the lights were out. "Did you hear the one about the ol'widow who eats children? She was out of her mind with grief over the death of her husband, shot to death in her own front room by the gunmen, and she left with her wee'uns, and not knowing what to do, everyone coming over to the wake and she having nothing to serve and she BOILED THEM to make stew, and everyone thought it was the most lovely stew, but she couldnt live with herself, once she got her right senses back — which some might say she never did — and she offed herself, her whole family destroyed and she not remembering why nor how, and now, in her twisted grief, she hunts for more children to boil and so you should always wonder about your stew when it smells especially good..."

This was how lifelong friendships were formed.

The fire glow warmed Seamie's close cropped hair. He wanted to be like his older brothers so he kept his hair short. While his mother grieved over the lost beauty, his was fine hair with just enough wave in it to make the girls sigh, she also recognised the effiency of simplicity. She dreaded the day when he became cognisant of fashion. It was a good thing he wanted to be like his brothers, because his clothes were once theirs. Well-washed, they had acquired their own distinct colour, which went well with his pale skin. His body appeared inert and listless, but his eyes were ever vigilant and took everything in. While even the rest of his face gave way to boredom, sleepiness or fatigue, in his eyes a spark always flared. That was one thing that distinguished him from the rest of the city's roaming kids. His eyes would have spoken, had anyone been listening, but he was quiet.

Usually, when the talk around the fire had petered out or someone's sister came to gather them away home, that would be their night ended. Tonight something hung in the air, like smoke from a careless spy. It left its telltale sign, but no one knew yet what it was telling. Sparky made the first suggestion. "Let's add to our stash." And so they traded in their bardic image and became hunters. When their boredom didn't drive them to the satisfying target practice of smash-the-glass, they had quite a collection of milk bottles growing in an overlooked corner of one of the abandoned flats. It was Maeve who enlarged the net of the night. "Where do yous get the petrol?" Now a buzzing excitement lit the air. Did they tell her, or just go get some? Did they need any? Could they need any? A riot was always happening somewhere. And when one hadnt been sparked, there was always more than a few willing to give it a go. "You lot get started. We'll suss it out." Sparky volunteered himself, Seamie and Maeve. The group split up. Seamie, Sparky and Maeve headed up the road to look for the army patrol and the others went to siphon petrol from parked cars.

Sparky had the natural inclination of a leader. He had flaming ginger hair and hazel eyes that in the right light matched his hair. It looked as if his soul was on fire and escaping through his head. His father had been in jail three years now. He did have a lot of uncles to look after him but he missed his da. He would go through periods of prolific writing when he'd write his da pages and pages of letters. Then, when he resented that letters were the main contact he had with his father, he would stop writing altogether. He could never last too long without writing though, because he realised it should not be his da he punished and took his anger out on. That was part of where his leadership came from; he wanted his da to be proud of him, that he could handle himself out here on his own.

The three of them walked up the road at a leisurely pace. No real hurry, they'd allow the others time. As they walked they occasionally came across someone they knew. If Sparky deemed them sound, they'd tell them they were getting wired into it down the road. That way, Sparky reasoned, there'd be more people — maybe they'd even erect barricades. "I like it when the buses are on fire," Maeve said. "The shadows are so pretty."

They saw the army patrol before the patrol saw them. Their instinct was to crouch low and creep in the shadows, but that would have called attention to themselves. The patrol was at a crossroads. If the soldiers went on straight, they'd have to find a way to lure them back onto their road. That might make the soldiers more paranoid than they already were, and they'd probably call in for more back up sooner than they should for the plan to work. If they turned, they'd walk unknowingly straight into it. The kids would just have to circle round the streets to give fair warning to the others. The patrol turned onto their street. The three of them looked at each other and smiled. They crossed the road and went down the back alley way to the others.

The army gave Seamie nightmares. Sometimes he'd be at home in the evenings watching films with his da when one of his brothers would quietly bang into the house. None of them would say anything, but he could sense how tightly wound up they were as they hurried rigidly up the stairs. Beneath that he could sense the despair of the false security of the house being unable to offer any safety. His brothers would go up the stairs into the bedroom, sometimes the bathroom if the room was already occupied, and, shutting the door behind them, they'd slowly unlace themselves and start to sob.

Later they'd come down the stairs with wild stories and jokes about how they were stopped by an army patrol or at a checkpoint. Sometimes the stories would turn angry, but they never, ever, told of the humiliation and loss of dignity that drove them up the stairs.

Late at night, early in the morning, the army with black faces and heavy guns would bang and burst into the house. Bounding up the stairs they'd drag everyone out of bed — in their nightclothes or naked, grabbing at blankets — and hole everyone up in the front room under guard while they wrecked the place. They'd say things to their ma and taunt their sisters and no one could do a thing. All their furniture would be busted up. Walls were punched through, floors ripped up. After a few hours, they would leave: "You can take this reciept to the claims office, ma'am."

They'd sit in the gloom not saying anything to each other while their father stood outside like a volcano and their mother busied her anger cleaning up. The sun would come up and they'd get ready for school. When they came home there'd be no furniture, but the house would be clean.

Seamie, Maeve and Sparky joined their mates at the bottom of the road, and told them about the patrol headed towards them. Some older boys had joined them, making a barricade around the bend in the road so the patrol wouldn't clue onto the ambush right away and the rioters would have some protection. Others were making piles of bricks and stones. Someone had found a bunch of rags and quite a few petrol bombs were on the go, lined up, waiting to be lit. Somebody whistled. The army patrol came into sight.

It seemed everyone lit into them at once, as if they all sensed the need and opportunity to destroy the destroyer. Even a symbol of the destroyer would do. They started lobbing the bricks at the soldiers, taunting them as they did each other. One soldier yelled frantically into his radio as more people came barreling into the road. More older boys, and men, joined them as sirens of back up were heard rushing toward the scene. Binlids were banged, the neighbourhood version of the soldier's high tech radio, alerting the people to soldiers in the area and a riot in progress.

Seamie and Maeve were lighting the petrol bombs as they were being thrown. Maeve decided she wanted to throw her first. She lifted one and took careful aim. Seamie watched her as the arc of her arm curved and let fly at the nearest soldier. He grabbed her and held her to him as the bomb struck the soldier's face. "I want to see," she shouted into his thin frame. He pushed her further into his stomach as he watched slow motion the glass shatter on impact — where did she get such force? The petrol leaked over the soldier's face and into his clothes, adding sting to the gashes the glass, like shrapnel, made: sting the soldier didn't feel very long as the fire licked the petrol and exploded. "I want to see," she howled again, beating him with her fists. She should finally see the damage she could do, the pretty shadows of her creation. Seamie held onto her, as the soldier became a shadow in the flames eating him, his movements like a dancing bear in a halo of orange. He closed his eyes and held her, and everything went away. All the sounds: the screams and whoops, bangs and booms, thuds, explosions; the guns firing plastic bullets into the crowd, the women banging their lids, the shots fired sproadically. The smells: of fear and tension and rage, of petrol and fire and guns, burning tires, cars, and flesh. And the sight. The twisted shadows the flames made. The screaming children. The angry boys. The men with the woolly faces. All gone. He held Maeve and he felt transported to another world of long ago. Just the two of them. Another time, another riot, another war they'd escaped from. He closed his eyes tighter. "I want to see!" Maeve pushed herself from him but she could not see where her bomb had landed. Too many things were lit, aglow. He said he needed some water. She looked at him, took his outstretched hand. They started walking. She was his father's daughter. She could hold her own with his lot, but he'd be there, protector.


  1. Carrie,

    I always told you you were a much better writer than me!! This was great.

  2. This is very good storytelling indeed. Excellent stylistics too.

  3. Carrie,
    Powerful stuff!
    Mackers, two very different writing styles, two very different writers.

  4. Excellent story and a thoroughly enjoyable read Carrie. It flows well and is easy on the eye while you read it.

    There's a book in you somewhere you just have to find it.

    Oh could someone help, every time I try and post here I have to sign up again as Google won't accept my password each time.

  5. Dixie,
    I really don't know about anyone else but I always have had to enter my password twice.
    I don't think I have ever had a post that has went through first time.

  6. Excellent read Carrie, maith thú.

    Dixie always have trouble putting the password in, only way i found to get around it is to sign in through Google Accounts and then from there follow the link to TPQ

  7. Good story Carrie, a great read.


  8. I agree that the stylistic contrasts here are welcome from Carrie. Hope you can find room here for her!!! (Somehow, I think it's not a problem.)

  9. Nah Carrie just on a techinical point hon I have never seen a Molitival cocktail or petrol bomb smash on the face of a dummy tit in my life, ginger people have a fire within inside that only freedom and a hearts fulfilment can achieve, I say this only as one who is and knows mo cara ,

  10. Carrie-

    Boiled wee ones- had that image all
    day- thanks for that- a good read-

    A story about Irish family life during the occupation and some of the fight-back kids- well told.


    Was in a book-shop on friday and
    bought two books- somme mud was about a Australian unit in world war 1 and i also got The girl with
    the dragon tattoo-
    could not put the Stieg Larsson one down- its been a while since i read
    such a pure magical book- what
    character's notably the tattoo girl
    getting part 2 and 3 tomorrow

  11. Carrie

    I remember reading it about 15 years ago or so I can’t remember word for word but I don’t think you revised or updated the story.
    I enjoyed the story then and was surprised to see it show up on the Quill. The funny thing being I read it the same way I did years back not from an adult perspective but through the eyes of rebellious youth? The idealism reads well and captures the mood and thought of wanting to strike back and follow through with the struggle of self and the troubles.
    The burning face is a clever metaphor hidden amongst the violence in my own poor interpretation I thought it fitting. The Brit on fire image probably reminds readers of riot and not the actual meaning I took from it. The fire in my mind is the burning of the connection the dreams of youths that they will be the ones to end British rule.

    I agree with Dixie and Anthony somewhere in there you have a book.
    Thanks for posting

  12. Carrie,
    Intense. It raised many emotions within me. As the mother of a son, it made me think about how I would have felt if I had to have raised my son under such conditions. Great writing.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Enjoyed the wee story. Thanks Carrie, mickeyboy, A story about Irish family life during the occupation I know [during the occupation]could be seen as a play on words, but i do hope, you do realise we are still occupied.

  14. fer,
    michaelhenry, must be occupying the un-occupied part of the North.
    Where he lives the Brits have left and everything is rosy in the proverbial garden.
    Must be that old Sinn Fein water that provides all that utopia.
    If anything, Carrie's writing laid bare how little things have changed.

  15. Tain Bo,

    this is the amazing thing about the story. She wrote it while still in the States yet was able to capture the place as if she knew it first hand. I firmly believe she should try a novel about something. But then who am I?!!! I have the last word - 'yes love.'

  16. ANTHONY ! Or maybe how high boss?

  17. Fer-

    If we are still occupied then where is the fight-back

    What did the 3 armed [ are they ]
    hardline groups do last year-

    2010 was another sabbatical year for them

    There fanciful play-war- you could
    not make it up- they showed their chests when the war drums ended.

  18. Marty,

    you are spot on! Have the same problem yourself? And Nuala says women are oppressed!


    I am so pleased you enjoyed the first of the trilogy. They actually get better as they move on. As youy say the character building is great.

  19. mickeyboy. Ireland, six counties, twenty six counties, one still under the old enemies boot and whip. One until recently, independent, and sovereign, seems to me a lot of sellouts on both sides of the border.P.S where do you get the

  20. michealhenry,
    The war drums did not end, Sinn Fein beat a retreat.

  21. Anthony

    But then who am I?!!! I have the last word - 'yes love.'

    You never know maybe one of these days she might take the notion and write a book. As usual it sounds easy though in reality it is hard work and time consuming. It is creative considering it was penned in the states without much knowledge of life in Belfast makes you wonder now she has that experience how creative her stories could be.
    I think we should start a PQ pressure group and petition her to write anyone else agree?

    Got a good laugh at “mans last and only line of defence and offence”-“yes love” a dodgy answer that comes with two looks the death stare or the smiling thank you in my case it is usually the death gawk so when in doubt a nod will suffice.

  22. we always had mock riots as kids...even tho me mum always told us we wer better than that. but she still never let a skool uniform get in the way of a new lamp or coffee table. women eh...poverty of the ego and soul never put a bomb in me...just disdain.

  23. Larry

    What does your comment have to do with the story? Your wee outburst makes no sense and as usual is combative.

    “Women eh...poverty of the ego and soul never put a bomb in me...just disdain.”

    You seem to have some issues with women and poverty.

  24. Tain bo a cara we should all have issues with poverty and we should combat it.

  25. Marty

    Conas atá tú mo chara?

    Without reservation I completely agree with you, as poverty is a social disease that can be cured.
    My comment to Larry was more and observation rather than a criticism. Once a comment is published it invites a few responses either agreement or disagreement or indifference.

    After reading Larry’s comment indifference mixed with a backhanded criticism of the story is what I see hence my observation. The story being purely fictional and Larry’s comment introduces his own literal version of the story.

    “Women eh...poverty of the ego and soul never put a bomb in me...just disdain.”

    If the above line is not a backhanded insult to the story then I am interpreting it incorrectly.
    Poverty of the ego and the soul perhaps would not sound like a criticism if it was not preceded with “Women eh…” hence my statement about having issues with women and poverty as that clearly defines women as being poor in ego and in soul. For a non-believer in god using the soul seems hypocritical then politely excusing himself with “never put a bomb in me...just disdain.”

    As I said the comment makes no sense and is not directly relevant to the story in my opinion otherwise I would not have made the comment.


  26. Tain bo ,go maith a cara,agus tú féin?good to hear your wise words again ,you went of the radar there a bit and I thought you had taken up indoor hang gliding to impress your new lady,as long as you are staying of the mountain mate,

  27. Marty

    I was on the subs-bench watching from the sidelines just didn’t have the time to post.
    I think the last post didn’t go through it was telling you to give shindo or whatever his name was HELL.. Now I have the time I should be posting more.

    Best a luck mucker.

  28. Ar dóigh Carrie.
    Just got to read this ar maidin.
    Your peice stirred emotion in me last roused when I read "Garvaghy, A Community Under Seige".
    I for one would certainly buy your book if you were to write one on this subject.

  29. Tain Bo,
    I heard my partner giving my son very good advice a few weeks ago when the latter was being obstreperous (due to over indulgence)
    'Kevin when you are in the dog house, the first thing you do is stop barking, just follow behind the mistress and whimper and hope for a kind word or a pat on the head.'
    Are things on the turn? Maybe.

  30. The police phoned me last night to say someone had broken into my house,drank all my Stella and raped the wife,I couldnt believe they only drank five beers and still f##ked her

  31. Talk about intellectual stimulation I,m going to see Yogi bear next week in 3d popcorn an all yaba daba do Bo Bo, and later on in the week if Jeff Bridges latest film True Grit is on I,ll go see it,what a hard life eh!

  32. Nula

    “Are things on the turn?”

    With the optimistic “maybe” I would say yes. There is of course a long way to go breaking through the equality barriers.
    Sound advice, my barking days are long past, happy to say I have mastered that pitiful whimper keeps me out of the dog house.

    My best regards to you and your family.

  33. Marty

    Should we expect the you got hit over the head with a whats-a-matter-yogi in 3D.

  34. Tain Bo a cara I,ll top up on the falling down water tomorrow night so I,ll be brain dead for part of next week,no change there then Bo Bo!

  35. Sex education in the bearded ones house "watch out for yer da!"

  36. Tain Bo,
    I think there is a strong theme of many women's lives running through Carrie's story.
    It portrays how women have a tendency to get on with it no matter what.
    I would say the bold Mauve, will eventually become a formidable force, where ever the story or a book takes her.
    Thanks for the kind thought, wishing you and your other half kind regards also.

  37. Marty,
    Is sex abuse only sex abuse, when the perpetrators are Priests?
    Are the victims only victims, when the abuser is a Priest?
    The family in question deserves the same sympathy and respect that you apply so gushingly to all the other victims you write about.
    Thought your remark was in very poor taste!

  38. Thought you would think that Nuala!

  39. Seen outside Alberts house,complete set of encylopedia britannica,never opened,for sale,wife knows f##kin everything!

  40. Marty,
    I think anyone with a shred of decency would think the same.
    Shows a pretty low wit, especially coming from someone who bleated on so much about Priests and perversion.
    Nothing to do with Albert, unless you want him to give his opinion?

  41. Nula

    “I think there is a strong theme of many women's lives running through Carrie's story”

    You raise an interesting point that highlights the many roles of women in struggle. In the story there is a clear distinction between Meave and the mother. The mother quietly accepts here role cleaning up and Meave challenges that secondary role with her attitude that she can hold her own amongst the lads.

    I think we all may well know a few Meaves and I for one value and respect their input and opinions. Who knows perhaps the wee story might inspire a few more women to post here. For such a short story there is a lot of depth and meaning within it.

  42. TainBo,
    Yes, we all did know a few Maeves and it just happens to be my favourite name.
    What was truly amazing about this tale, was the author's ability to vividly capture events which they had no first hand knowledge of.
    No doubt Carrie had watched riot scenes on television, however, few people could bring a scene to life that they have never actually experienced full on. Good writers can though, and people who know everything of course.

  43. Nula

    I have to agree with the imagery of the riot and Carrie’s description captures that feeling. Odd enough Meave is also my favorite name.
    Speaking of riots could you enlighten me as to what exactly is a “mock” riot mentioned by Larry? Never had that luxury just curious if you get mock wounds or stitches. I have a few scars that I wish I could say were mock.

    Who knows, maybe the wee story might get you to write an article from your perspective and experiences. I know easier said than done.


  44. Go on Nuala let the man run free!

  45. TainBo,
    I have no idea what a mock riot is?
    I think Larry, think Marty sort of drifts in and out of sanity.
    I have to be honest I always steered clear of them myself, afraid of getting hit with something.
    Any that I did witness I sort of accidentally came across.

  46. Marty,
    Albert's his own man, certainly does not need my permission and most definitely does not need yours to speak.
    You still have not answered the question?
    When is sex abuse not sex abuse?
    When the victims are people you don't like?

  47. Nuala hon.,Insanity in individuals is something rare-but in groups,parties,nations and epochs it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche,

  48. Nuala if you could point out where I abused the victims of sexual abuse I could maybe answer your question,and without the invective, "just follow behind the mistress and whimper and hope for a pat on the head" is that emancipation turned on its head or are you in the business?

  49. Kind of reminds me of a girl I used to go out with,when we made love and she orgasmed,she would punch me in the face,it was alright until I found out she was faking them!!

  50. Marty,
    You are just engaging in silly little games here.
    You know perfectly well, what you said and unless you are not totally lucid, you know perfectly well what you meant.
    'Sex education in the bearded ones house, 'watch out for yer da'
    What does that mean if it is not mocking victims of sexual abuse?
    Again, you know perfectly well what you meant, which makes all your gushing remarks on the subject, now sound hollow and superficial.
    In relation to your last comment about the 'dog house'
    If Albert chooses to go with peaceful flow, then that's his choice and quite frankly none of your business.
    About being on the game?
    According to you, all women are slags or are they just the ones you don't like?

  51. Mackers,
    going back to you comment several days ago about oppression.
    I think in the case of certain individuals, oppression should be compulsory in whatever shape or form.

  52. TainBo,
    Can I just say it is totally refreshing to hear that there are men wno value and respect women's opinion.
    I have met a few such men, not too many but enough to restore a persons faith that not everyone has a backwood mentality.
    About writing, I love it and I also love reading something well written.

  53. nuala
    mock riots were commonplace among kids in the 70s. maybe you were too good and above playing with the boys on building sites. i've no idea.
    like yer ideas on poverty, yer ideas about kiddies at play in the 70s alludes to your own fantasy island ye inhabit methinks.

  54. some women dont need any mans help. they just have an illness, the 'I want everything now and i want it my way' illness.

  55. Larry,
    The did not have 'mock riots' in Clonard in the 70s, nor were there too many building sites.
    Your views on most things are pretty shallow. On poverty I would have needed a compass to pin down what you meant most of the times.
    I live in the real world okay, which is why I am very careful who I let in.

  56. Nula

    I wonder if the protagonist in the story was a man would certain opinions be different. “Meave” seems to have a healthy awareness of her struggle within a struggle. How effective would the RM have been without the many Maeve’s who volunteered and paid the price.
    It reminds me of the end of World War 2 when the men returned the women were sent back to their societal role of housewife’s.
    It would be an injustice relegating women in the struggle to a secondary role.

    My apology as Larry in is infinite wisdom is barking up the wrong tree I should say whimpering as he avoided my post and decided to indulge you instead considering we were having friendly banter and I asked you the question of mock riots.
    Then the issue of equality for women sends shock waves through the dominant male ego.

  57. TainBo,
    Women were relegated very quickly in this struggle as well.
    I was just reading about the 'Dirty Protest' in Armagh recently.
    It was totally grotsque, yet they endured, they embarked on a hunger-strike twice once in the early 70s with McKee and a second time in the hunger-strike led by the Dark.
    The only reason they could not join the hunger-strike led by Bobby was because most of them were considered unfit.
    Women actually took part in a failed escape in Armagh in the 70s and no-one ever speaks of it.
    It does the heart good to listen to someone like you TainBo.

  58. Larry

    “Methinks you doeth protest too much.”

    “Some women don’t need any mans help. They just have an illness, the 'I want everything now and I want it my way' illness.”

    I think my observation may well be correct I am just curious as the above statement qualifies you as a medical Dr. Would the same not apply to some men?
    Why indeed would what “some women” want be an issue that obliviously rattle’s your cage.
    I assume by your own words the same could apply to you, as you seem to want to be right and see it only “your way.”

    The wee story seems to have your dander up judging by your remarks to Nula.

  59. Tain bo-

    " The wee story seems to have your
    dander up "

    Its the first time i have read or heard that statement lol

    Where do you get them

  60. Michael,

    How’s your good self?

    Like most things from an impoverished childhood it’s a hand-me-down. My Father had a riddle for everything and my favourite one being “what’s a matter with you have you lost your snuff.” Sounds better with the accent and the way we talk. The, I will fix your wagon one was always confusing as we were so poor I didn’t know we owned a wagon.

    Thanks for the laugh, best a luck mucker

  61. Nula

    I agree with you that once again the women have been relegated to the standard marginal note in history. As I said the RM would have been far less effective without women and their role should not be on the periphery but as equals.
    I am sure many would disagree with me on the issue.

  62. Robert

    Pardon me Carrie for usurping your story.

    I was going through my PQ notes last week and came across the old Bible exchange we had.
    Since I would need a time machine to go back and find the article I will take the lazy way out plus my missus warned me of the inherent dangers of time travel.

    I was just curious and wondered about the authentication.

    “Just a few checks to authenticate that expensive Bible as being Protestant.”
    King James Version
    Designed and illustrated by
    Barry Moser
    For the Pennyroyal Caxton Press

    232 relief engravings printed as black-and-white line art

    Satin ribbon marker

    Smyth-sewn binding

    High opacity 50-pound Glatfelter paper

    Gold foil-stamped all-clothe case

    All 232 engravings being the work of Moser

  63. tain bo
    i thought you were the resident shrink on here.

    anyone who has a differing opinion on issues here or aint politically correct in your view has his dander up? Particularly womens issues?

    dunno bout dander up, reckon i know what you've got yer head up tho.

  64. Larry

    I appreciate you gracing me with your words considering my head is up my arse I shall await the morrow when I extract my brain from my rectum and let the light of day dictate my response.

  65. "According to you all women are slags" Nuala I dont judge anyone on their sexual morality,that is usualy done by the people who set the benchmark or bar on all things moral ie,. the churches,irony or what!

  66. Maidin maith or top of the morning to you Tain Bo mo cara. I remember we used to be told to go to hells gates,untill I once asked are gates not for keeping people out?

  67. there were some really wonderful religious female charachters down the ages.
    Helen of troy.
    Maggie thatcher.
    Ena Sharples
    and last but certainly not least, Linda Lovelace.

  68. Tain bo
    you take umbrage when you feel your comments are ignored and umbrage when they are not.

    Not everyone is a female fearing, feminist advocate. Political correctness has gone far enough. There's sufficient equality out there, let em get on with it regardless of their gender and yapping.

    As for poverty I recon its the preponderance of gambling dens that has most people on the street.

  69. Marty

    It has been years since I heard that one I burst out laughing “are the gates not for keeping people out.” If I had said that to my granny I am sure I would have found out the answer.

  70. Larry

    Go raibh maith agat, “amadán”

    I already have an arch nemesis’ here and you sir are no Robert personable and extremely engaging.

    I awoke this morning in thought about a staring contest I had once with an Orangutan “she” left me perplexed. I digress, it is fact that no matter what monkey house you visit there is always one chimpanzee that for unknown reason(s) will try and wind up the gorilla.

    Regarding my observation after reading your latest insubstantial rants would your own angered hostility towards women prove my observation to be correct?
    I believe in your wording you clearly provided the rope and are now dangling on the end of your own contrived hypocrisy.

    Obviously you mistake my mannerisms for weakness there is good reason a rattle snake has a rattle it will mind its own business and politely let you know when to back off.

    I would engage you in a verbal evisceration though psychologically you are already defeated as you display weakness with your puny insults. I can never actually understand your posts.

    Respectfully I consider the PQ as an open classroom each time I visit I learn more.
    There are other forums that would better suit your narrow-mindedness with the predictable I rule the roost and I know it all pointless rants.

    Political correctness is a manufactured clever form of censorship obviously I would not ascribe that to the anti-censorship PQ. If you must use clichés and fragmented statements at least consider the readers.

    Well that was a waste of ten minutes I will bid you good evening sir as for the now I am going to re-read the latest article as Don Carl-leone seems to be struggling against the tide.

  71. tain bo
    how very polite you are. honestly took you two days to vomit that eh?
    what an aca-dem.

    stick with the amatuer shrink stuff i suggest...or maybe not, it took you two days and a lengthy diatribe NOT to get 'personal', PRICELESS, cheers for that.

  72. some people are akin to politically correct PSF/NAZIS.

    i'll keep my head firmly out of that dark place some peoples seem to be hopelessly and permanently stuck. love this blog.

  73. Marty,
    A couple of weeks ago you were calling the women in the 'Kings Head' slags.
    In fact when I pointed it out to you, you amplified the insult by saying they gave 'slags a bad name'.
    No Church input there Marty. According to you you are ant-religion, so you can't pin that on the Church, that view of women came from yourself.

  74. Larry

    Considering you informed me that I am full of shite and naturally since you are the nearest thing to a toilet it was well worth the ten minutes dumping my verbal diatribe. Perhaps a time piece or a calendar would be useful, as grammar seems to avoid you.

  75. Larry,
    When I first read that list of names I thought you had taken them from the bridal catelogue!
    Eve, number 41, Mary Magdalene number 45.
    Do the bride get to see the suitor or does that not matter?

  76. Larry

    “Some people are akin to politically correct PSF/NAZIS.”

    As usual pointing the finger in a vague manner why do you lack the testicular fortitude and have a habit of making statements that make no sense, as you never identify the “some.”
    Oh this answer took a month so I decided to superglue a computer to my bum after all punctuality is important.

  77. tain bo + nuala
    aren't you both so sweet.
    yep, you difinitely sound like disgruntled, missplaced, unwanted wee Provos to me.

    Like the decommissioning ye can shove yer political correctness/controling where you keep yer head tain bo.

  78. Nuala ,nothing like spreading out your base of attack, we have went from abusings victims of sex abuse ,your views not mine ,to again all womem are slags again your views thank fuck you didnt read my views on misandrists,I am proud to have know women who worked in the sex industry for whatever reason and I respected them,I am not a misogynist, I have have probably made love to more women than you,I hold up my hands to having a dark sense of humour ,but I neither apoligise or seek your premission to think as I do,as you say frankly its none of your business,if it applies to your posts then vice versa,if you find my posts offensive complain to the Blog Master in this instance Anthony,he can either reject my posts or pull me up, I respect his position as I try to do with nearly every other blogger here and I try and answer without the invective that is now creeping into some of these posts,if Anthony wants I,ll pull of from contributing here,I,ve been on my knees hon but I,ve never bent one and I,ve no intenton of starting now,Gabh mo leiscéal ar teanga agam,Nil habair méar an sceal seo.

  79. Marty,
    Can we get back to the starting post here without all the drama and the hissy fits?
    You said that 'In beardy's house sex education was watch out for your da.' I asked, in your book was there a difference between these victims and the ones you gush about? You did not answer!
    These were your words not mine!
    Lets get real here, if you say something either stand over it, renege.
    You also called the women in Bobby and Martin's company slags?
    How you conduct yourself on the blog, is not my concern.
    It is not my jurisdication to morally guard what is said on the 'TPQ' if you have a problem why don't you complain?.
    However, I have as much right to challenge your comments as you have to challenge mine and anyone elses.

  80. Marty,
    I am honestly bemused by all of this. All of a sudden you appear to be all coy and shrinking violet.
    More a case of dishing it out and then not being able to take the response.

  81. nuala
    ill tell you why i dont give a hoot for so-called politically correct merchants. Many, like YOU are a new species of animal only recently discovered...hippo-critters.

    to claim to be a feminist and yap on consistently about female opression only to on a number of ocassions make snide remarks about mail order brides to a person [like me] for example, married to a wonderful and beautiful filippina, is both anti feminist and racist.

    My mrs is much safer with me to love her than with the likes of you muscling in on her 'rights'.

    also, you are able to multi task like many wonderful your case chewing the altar rails whilst spewing out personal poison and bile. You aint no wonderful woman. Be sure and say yer pennance after confession.

    I'll not say or infer anything about Albert. But if you're afraid to answer your door because of the uglytax warden rest easy. The 2011 spring clothes collection is out in 'Cruffs catalogue' and the Bhurka section is at the front. Your fear ridden housebound days could be at an end. Go on treat yourself....coz 'you're worth it'.

    tain bo
    talkin of balls...most people here post under their own name..maybe you'll remove your phantom of the opera mask and post under your name? coz that surely aint nobodys name...

    If the dots aren't joined up enough for the both of you to understand what was meant by this post then just stay at the back in the remedial section and please don't disturb the other students.

  82. nuala
    i read your comments to my wife. she asks you to keep your nose out of her happy life. Thank you very much.

  83. Larry,
    I did not mean any offence to your wife. I meant it to you.
    I seriously don't think any woman who spent more than second in your company would be hurrying to spend another.
    You appear to be another one who can dish it out with bile and spew and then cannot take it when the tables are turned.
    Larry, Albert would have you for breakfast, so not infering anything about him might prove the best advice you have ever gave yourself.

  84. Larry,
    I' m sure your wife is absolutley delirious, let's face she would have to be.

  85. Everybody,

    the thread here is simply getting out of hand. Gratuitous insults are flying all round and the political debate has evaporated to be replaced by a slanging match. It is as much your blog as mine and I do not want to be policing matters. But there has to be some structure or order to the thing. It is a blog where people are supposed to exchange ideas not a public toilet where people scrawl graffiti and insults. Time for everybody regardless of degrees of culpability to take a step back.

  86. Nula

    How’s your good-self this day?

    Back during the 2nd hunger strike I attended a silent protest march. The march took of peacefully and of course run into the Brits/cops as the inspector give the usual speech over the bullhorn the men in the march got fired up and drowned out the cop.
    There was one woman in the march who took control reminding us very sternly the reason for the silent protest she with authority shamed us hard-men itching for a riot back into line.
    The march proceeded peacefully and dignified it concluded in the same fashion.
    Things would have been a lot different if it was not for her taking a stance to this day I admire her actions.
    Liberation is just another fancy word if there is no equality.

  87. Tain Bo,
    I came from a home where women were pretty much on an equal footing.
    I never heard a deragatory comment about women while I was growing up, which meant anything I heard outside the home at a later date was really quite alien.
    The RM was rife with 'keep women in their place culture'
    On an Easter Sunday, I think they viewed us as rows and rows of little Irish colleens interwined with the Legion Of Mary, who would do our bit and then retreat back to the kitchen sink.
    There was never a real equality agenda, they paid lip service to the concept but nothing concrete actually ever materialised.

  88. Nuala & Tain Bo,

    You could probably argue that women in the British Empire in the nineteenth century had just as much right as the Irish to wage war against the British government. The Irish were forcibly held within the union but women were denied the right to vote. Persuasion wasn't working in the 1800s, so what other options were there?

  89. Alfie,
    I honestly do not understand what you are saying here?
    Women's emancipation and Irish emanicaption are two very different things.

  90. Nuala,

    Of course, they are separate issues, but there are important similarities as well. The Irish were denied self-determination and kept in the union by force, while women were denied the right to vote and to run for office and were forced to live as second-class citizens. In the 1800s, political advocacy and agitation by women or on their behalf was going nowhere, so, to my mind, they were just as entitled as the Irish to use force against the British government in order to effect change. Can you give me a good reason why this right existed for the Irish but not for women?

  91. Alfie,
    Anyone can use force, especially if they believe they have exhausted all other avenues.
    I really don't know a lot about women's plight in the British Empire during the 18th century, however, I should think their lot would have been similiar to that of women everywhere else.
    Early 19th century was when the Suffragettes emerged and they proved quite a formidable force.
    This movement though essentially pacifist did dabble in acts of insurgency.
    Would they have been justified in doing this, of course they would.

  92. Nuala mo cara I f0r one would have stood with you four square,we will never be defefeated while Ireland has some guns.

  93. Michaelhenry,

    Did you finish the trilogy yet? The character making, as you say, is brilliant.