Cold Blow and the Rainy Night
Trip Start Jun 19, 2007
13Trip End Jul 21, 2007
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The Irish Times reports that Joe O'Reilly, 35, has been charged with murdering his 30-year-old wife Ann almost three years after she was found bashed to death in their Dublin home by her mother.
Police (Gardai) exhumed her body in 2005 and found a handwritten note in her coffin from Joe.
An excerpt read: "This is the hardest letter I've ever had to write, for reasons only we know. Rachel, please forgive me. Two words, one sentence, but I will say them forever."
It is totally circumstantial, but Joe must have really, really wished he hadn't written that letter.
I read the court report on our first day in Dublin and have been following it since. It brought back memories of the three years I spent reading the Evening Herald, Irish Independent and Irish Times every day at Wilson Hartnell PR. The print quality has certainly improved. The newspapers used to smudge a lot.
It's like I never left Ireland. We spent the first day on our Aunty Hilary's farm in northern Dublin. It was threatening to rain and the wind was biting. I wore my singlet, Rosa her thermal underwear. It was about 13 degrees. A nice way to celebrate the first day of summer.
Funny thing was, I spent the first day in Ireland in 1997 at Hilary's farm and I swear the weather was exactly the same. I even slept in the same bed. I was just about as tired, so it was lucky that Hilary could look after Rosa so Jo and I had an afternoon sleep. The highlight for Rosa was giving Hilary's pet lamb a milk bottle, while Jo and I just loved the experience of the narrow roads, stone buildings and sign posts in Irish again.
After travelling cross town to our friend's Ray and Julie we wandered around Dublin on Tuesday. It was incredibly busy, but despite the dull, overcast weather everything had a shine to it. It was a day for reminiscing: morning tea, wandering through Trinity College (where, once playing cricket with Paul for a Midlands Team, a student yelled out, "Go back to England you British bastards!"), shopping for pottery in the Kilkenny Shop, dodging rain in St Stephen's Green, and then finally we made it to the new offices of Wilson Hartnell PR.
I was rehearsing my line to the new receptionist as I went through the main door. Something about working her seven years ago, and her nodding and thinking, "So?" and me departing soon after. Incredibly, the same receptionist, Brigid, sat in the same seat. Well, a different seat, as it was a new office, but still. We were both equally shocked. And then in came five directors at two minute intervals - all who'd been there when I'd left! We had a very quick chat, but that's all I was after. Brigid gave me the run down of everyone who'd been and gone, including the executive who shared my office getting front page space after being photographed sniffing coke during his employment at the Irish Parliament. I never would have guessed.
Anyway, we had a grand time wandering around Dublin, finishing where we'd left off seven years ago: playing board games with Ray and Julie, walks with rain coats in hand down to Bray Head, complaining about the cost of food ($13.50 for Big Mac value meal - I'll never get used to it)... the fields here are still the most brilliant green and the traffic crawls, but it feels like nothing much has changed. But it has.
Immigration is big. 100,000 Polish live in the country now. There's a Little Nigeria and a lot of Asians. Luxury flats and town houses dot the city, there's a new train system and summer happened two months ago.
We're off to Laois and the Deverell ancestory home tomorrow, were we'll catch up with the cricket team and the Rock of Dunamese, where I'm determined to be buried (hopefully in the far and distant future).