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excerpt from 'Ghosts on Kirwan's Lane'


by Neil McCarthy



  • Invasion


  • A: What are ye having? 
  • B: I'll get these!
  • C: You will not, this is my round!
  • D: Go away out of that, it's my turn.
  • A: Don't be daft, will ye sit down! I'm getting these.
  • C: No, no, Nuala, no, it's my round.
  • B: It is not. Sure didn't you get the last? 
  • A: Look, I'm standing here now! What are ye drinking?!
  • D: Ah now, there's no need to do that. Here, lookit.
  • A: Diet 7-Up please, Caroline. And a mango whatchmacallit. 
  • C: You're dress is absolutely fabulous! 
  • B: Vodka and splash for me so.
  • D: Thank you very much! It's Debenham's. 
  • C: It's not! 
  • D: It is. 
  • C: It's absolutely fabulous. 
  • B: Fabulous, Clare.
  • A: What are you drinking Shelley? 
  • C: I'll have... a glass of chardonnay. Isn't her dress fabulous? 
  • A: Glass of chardonnay too, Caroline. Oh my God, it's only gorgeous!
  • C: It's Debenham's.
  • A: Is it?
  • D: It is. On sale too. 
  • A: Go away.
  • D: No word of a lie. I got it for the Races last year but never went.
  • A: Oh it's fabulous. How much is that Caroline?
  • B: Here, take that.
  • A: Will you put that away, I'm getting these. 
  • B: For God's sake, you're an awful one. 


  • Ghosts


I was having a pint in what used to be The Castle, 

having just had lunch in what used to be the Augustine Cafe. 

I then walked out to Salthill, past what used to be Mulligans, 

Apostasy, Le Graal, Taylors, The Oasis and CJ's nightclub. 

I left and ducked into what used to be the Promenade Hotel and 

put ten euro on what used to be a good Brazil team to win the World Cup.  

Later, I took a taxi back to my friends house in Knocknacarra, 

down the Clydebaun Road, past what used to be nothing. 



  • Taxi Driver


While waiting, I thought about a chat I could have with the taxi driver, 

trying to avoid that ‘have you been busy?' guff, or the ‘bet you're glad of the rain?'

for the two-hundreth time this weekend. 

When I sat in, he was listening to a podcast of a gospel church preacher 

prophesising the planned mass murder of three billion people through 

controlled diseases and controlled wars, to ensure survival of the fittest. 

He probably wouldn't have given a flying fuck about the Races had I brought it up.

So I asked him instead where he was from. He glanced across and said 

“I am from Liberia”, for probably the two-hundredth time this weekend.



Endcap