"Which of you had the twins?"

From 'The Gates Flew Open' by Peadar O'Donnell (Jonathan Cape, 1932).

Paudeen O'Keeffe was a restless little man with a fine pair of eyes and a waspish tongue. He came to us first in civils and was rather accepted as part of the queer trappings in the early jail days. I don't remember him figuring in anything in 'D' wing and indeed I didn't give him any special attention in the early days in 'C'. I first noticed him the night we decided to parade all our men for count. We had got fed up keeping two men hidden for it meant considerable inconvenience. Paudeen that night came in smartly as usual- he was now wearing the uniform of a captain in the Free State Army; he counted quickly, jotted down the number and hung on his stride; two men too many was nothing serious and he probably felt he had just counted an extra file. But he went back and counted again, this time more slowly; a third time he counted, saying the numbers out loud and then he wheeled around and faced Cooney. They were rather a contrast, for Paudeen O'Keeffe is about five feet seven inches and Andy Cooney must be six foot one. 'Jasus, Cooney', Paudeen explained, 'Which of you had the twins?'

Reading the United Irishman

Padraig O Caoimh in conversation with Richard Mulcahy in 1964 (my edits).

'In 1899 I was going to school and one of the teachers read the United Irishman. That's how I started. About 20 copies were sold in Cullen, a little village 4 miles from Millstreet, Co. Cork, at that time. There was a football club and a hurling club in the district so there was nothing else to do but read the United Irishman. There was a good Irish class in Cullen and another in Millstreet. Of course they were half native speakers you know. At that time it was a half Irish speaking district. A man named Sean the Bard was the boss man in the IRB at that time. He lived between Millstreet and Macroon. Also, O'Riordan was involved. He was born an IRB man, I'd say. There was always a sprinkling of the IRB and the Fenians in the district.  I went to London in 1901 and got involved with the IRB there. Mick Collins came 8 years after. I went to London and worked in the post office. I came to Dublin to work in the GPO in 1903. I was doing nothing as an IRB man between 1901 and 1908 except go to monthly meetings and collect the shilling from new recruits.'

to be continued..................