People ask me, why I use the Tricolour flag , why I am Proud of the Tricolour, why I listen to Finbar Fury!? Perhaps telling you about memories, will help …

Sitting on my ma`s knee, in the firelight, After toast cooked on the open fire, and topped with strawberry jam and real butter! She would sit and sing, the old songs of the republic, Her voice as I recall would warble slight, but be pitch clear, reaching the notes I can now in my old age only dream of hitting.

What I didn`t realise is that as She sang, she was imprinting the sounds, the words and the meanings deep in my soul. So much so that even now, when I hear the songs, I hear Her sing them. And tears fall as if to a desert patch on My cheeks as I recall the last time I saw Her. But memories cannot sustain a new adventure, and while I will carry Her in my mind all the time, new priorities take precedence.

The faded memories, like brown photographs still hanging on my wall. Remind me of a time of golden childhood. Even as an adult and understanding what rose tinted glasses, really means, I am still realising at the devastating news that the history, I was taught as “fact” has turned out to be complete bunkem. From the Irish famine which was instigated as an attack on the Irish people by the English governing landlords, taking more than the country could support during a time where little grew. Through to the Irish referendum where The EU, refused to accept the answer so told them to keep doing referendums until the right answer was achieved.

Some memories Bring a smile, like seeing my dad hop around the parlour after kneeling on the toasting fork, He had that pitchfork on his knee until the day he died. A Lasting memory that does not reduce me to tears until of course, I think of the day I lost them both. In that single terrifying moment, I became an enemy of Ireland Or more to the point, I became an enemy to Irish Politics. Aged nine, I became so deadly to the Irish political system Because of the Murder of my parents, that secret courts conspired to silence my tiny voice. And old men in a church sat discussed my fate and decided on Magdalene laundries as a solution.

From there I escaped, aged fourteen and headed to England with help from a boy who ran deliveries. times became Hard and fast deteriorated, when I came to England the reality of running from a corrupt country, in denial at having been invaded and stolen, to the very country that was oppressing the Country of My birth. From streets, to a flatshare, to a slum I was allowed to share to sleeping rough, a few run in`s with the police and other adventures. Some of which were not so pretty. I eventually landed up in remand. Once again I was trapped, My fate decided by old men in a room secretly discussing how to best resolve the fact that I was in a self-imposed exile from Irland, a run away a tear away little girl with flame red hair and anger in my eyes. And no use for the English language.

Finality and the Cosmos conspired to find a friendly voice to calm the ocean of fear and anger that was Me. That voice came from a Kind woman “Angela” from Donegal. Angela helped me find a way through the minefield of British “Red tape”. I will never forget Her nor will I ever be able to repay that debt.

Seventeen, saw me in a flat, with a job as a temp secretary, and by the end of that year, I was officially a citizen of England. The riot act and “Carepack ” was read to me carefully, ingrained in my mind the words. “You may not return to Ireland without official sanction of the British Government” along with a few other choice phrases designed to keep a little girl frightened and afraid of the night, I was given a case worker and a postal order for two hundred and fifty pounds sterling, And asked not to return to the office of child welfare.

The world becomes a scary place when you close the door and sit alone in the silence of a dark room. London never sleeps, and like London, I slept less and less, as the days turned to weeks, and the weeks to months, I realised I was lonely.

Eighteen saw me realise a truth, That I was bisexual! and me I grabbed that clung to it. and soon enough found both Boyfriend and Girlfriend who happened to get along well together. We found treasures and pleasures aplenty. New adventures, new memories. new priorities.

Sentimental moments that we share, here in tender moments when we are quiet, just holding each other. letting the world pass by as we remember with fond love, joy, fear, anger and finally acceptance. The past that has formed to make “Us” who “We” are. Perhaps in an another quiet Moment, I might add more to this post, But for now memories, tears and old feelings, are encompassed in the simple tribute.

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Go n-éirí an bóthar leat
Go raibh an ghaoth go brách ag do chúl
Go lonraí an ghrian go te ar d’aghaidh
Go dtite an bháisteach go mín ar do pháirceanna
Agus go mbuailimid le chéile arís,
Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú.

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