"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?'

Mr Pluck at the Glenview Hotel

Padraig O Caoimh (PO'K) in conversation with Richard Mulcahy (RM) in 1964 are discussing the events surrounding the Kilcoole gun running on the morning of 2nd August 1914 (my edits as per usual).

PO'K: So we went away with Cathal (Brugha) and came to the Glenview Hotel, a man by the name of Pluck owned it at the time. I'll never forget the name, Pluck. Then it was, I'd say, a guarter to five, a guarter to five roughly, between a quarter to five and a quarter to six and Cathal told me to go up to the hotel and tell them to open up that we were going to have a drink and 'I'm going to stand the boys a drink'. I looked at him and said 'this is bloody Sunday morning, Sunday morning (laughter) you see. You won't get any drink Sunday morning.' He said 'I'll get it'. I said 'Alright I'll do what I'm told'. I went up to the hotel. Poor Pluck put his head out of the bloody window upstairs. 'We're travellers on the road and we want to get a drink' I said. 'God, bloody bastards' says he. ' I'm warning you, keep quiet, open the door and let us in' I said. 'Not for you' says he. So I turned around and went down the bloody road and I got off the bicycle and I said to Cathal 'he won't open the door, he won't open the door. For God's sake '. 'I'll make him' says Cathal 'I'll give the boys a drink'. But in any case we went up and Pluck said 'I will not you bastards, you blackguards, at this hour of the morning, I will not'.I said 'for God's sake Cathal, come on away'. So we went along.

RM: So you say that's the Kilcoole second gun running?

PO'K: Yes, Kilcoole. The first didn't occur at all because....

RM: Well now, you came along through the Scalp, to Enniskerry and did you go down very far towards Kilcoole before you met Cathal Brugha and the lads coming along?

PO'K: Oh it was a good bit. Ah it was a good bit. It was a mile from Glenview, I'd say, on the Bray side.

RM: You went along and you were going down towards the valley there, the Glen of the Downs, and before you came to Glenview you met Cathal and the men?

PO'K: Yes.

RM: And they had been coming from the Glenview?

PO'K: To the Glenview, from Kilcoole, from Kilcoole.

RM: Oh had ye been further on than the Glenview?

PO'K: Oh we had, oh yes. Oh we were a mile on the Kilcoole side, the sea side.

RM: The sea side of Glenview.

PO'K: Cathal was in charge there, in any case.

RM: Cathal was in charge. Well now, ye had passed Sean T.

PO'K: Ah, two hours before, or three.

RM: So Sean T. was not in charge of the landing of the arms at Kilcoole?

PO'K: Ah, I'm not going to say that. I'm not, but I'm bloody sure that he was far away (laughter).

RM: Who did you say was with him? Diarmuid O'Laoire?

PO'K: Diarmuid O'Laoire of Hawkins. You don't know him?

RM: Was Diarmuid a member of the Keating Branch?

PO'K: He was. His father was a Kerryman.

RM: I see, yes. Did he do any writing?

PO'K: No, never wrote a line in his life, no more than myself.


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