2016 - INSURRECTION
2016-04-01 12:21:49 -
Roddy Doyle
0
1945

So. Here we are. The big day. Are we all here, comrades?

–Its hard to say.

I know what you mean. Ive never seen OConnell Street so crowded. We should have anticipated this, I suppose. Especially with the weather being so good. Its glorious, isnt it?

I have a proposal.

Yes, comrade?

Hang on, Ill let this family pass first. Okay I propose that we call it Sackville Street.

–O’Connell Street?

Just for the day. The way it used to be in 1916. So we can get worked up, a bit. In the absence of the British.

–Im not sure if well be able to organise a vote, comrade, given the crowds. Sorry excuse me? Your little boy is after putting that leaflet into his mouth he just picked it up off the ground. Youre welcome. Sure, I was always swallowing leaflets when I was his age. Sorry, comrade – go on.

–Just – I thought it might be a good idea. Re-renaming the street, like.

–Who was Sackville anyway?

Ah, there now I know the answer. One of my kids did a project on it oh, years ago. He was the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Im guessing some time in the early 18th century.

Well, we can name it anything we want. After one of us, even.

Thats an exciting prospect, actually. Who says revolution isnt fun? But first, wed better earn our street names. So logistics. How are we going to get across the street and into the GPO in a good, tight military formation? Its very crowded. There is a lovely atmosphere, actually, isnt there?

Bagsie Grafton Street.

–Sorry?

I want Grafton Street to be named after me.

If you die, Im assuming. Sorry I don’t mean to be insensitive.

–Yeah – yeah, only if I die.

We should start at the Spire. It looks a bit less crowded from there.

–Im just after getting a text. Bad news, Im afraid. We wont be seeing our Tallaght comrades today. They cant get in because of the Luas strike.

Can they not get the bus?

I was just thinking the same thing.

–Or cycle?

–It’s quite a distance.

–Its a revolution. I mean - Lenin made it to Moscow.

But did he cycle, comrade?

Well, Im going for a coffee then. It might be the last chance until the surrender. Anyone else want one?

–Ill have a flat white, please. Its like the Electric Picnic, isnt it?

Theres loads of stuff all over the city.

They always get this sort of thing right, really, dont they? Commemorations and that.

Comrades.

Did you see the march and the ceremony yesterday?

Comrades!

It brought a lump to my throat. I was nearly crying watching. All the relatives.

Comrades!!

What?

–Im postponing it.

The Rising?

–Yes – Im sorry. Im forced into the decision.

–Okay.

–No!

–Ah – Daniela.

–Fernanda.

Fernanda. You all made it.

–Not postpone.

–Its disappointing, I know. But, really, we dont have a choice. The conditions are just too chaotic. And too many of the comrades havent turned up, for one reason or another.

And the GPOs shut.

Is it really? Well, then. We wouldnt be able to storm the GPO today, anyway. Its locked.

That is mad I don’t understand.

We can come back next week.

Not next week. Must be today!

–Sorry, Fernanda – have you something else on next weekend? We could go for the week after.

–Cowards!

–Ah now.

–Traitors!

Ah, really now. Theres no need for Are they all going?

Looks like it.

I can see their point, I suppose. But

It would have been madness.

We could break the windows, I suppose, and get in that way.

Theyd be shatter-proof.

I was thinking that.

Theyre bound to be yes. Where would we be today if thered been shatter-proof glass in 1916?

Still part of the British Empire.

More than likely, comrade. They had it easy back then, really, when it came to the planning. Didnt they? Everything seems to have been easier.

Wheres the noise coming from?

Over there I think.

Why are they cheering?

Look!

What?

Look! On the roof! The GPO!

–Its – is it? Fernanda and Daniela and the others.

Theyre after countermanding your order, comrade. Theyve gone ahead on their own.

Theyve taken down the tricolour look! Whats that flag theyre putting up instead of it? Its green and yellow.

Brazil.

Are they declaring a Republic of Brazil?

Theres another going up look. It looks like a picture of a family. Two adults, two children. What are the words under it?

–‘Death to the Oppressor.

Theres another one unfurling there on the far flagpole. I cant make out the words.

-‘L‘Oréal,it says. ‘Because Youre Worth It.

–My God – they even got sponsorship.

TAGS : Roddy Doyle 2016 series Chapter 4
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