Bara Cailín 3: 39 ‘airs and jigs and graces’

As the crowds toiled and laboured in the orange glare of the bonfires an enormous PA system played a medley of nostalgic tunes about the ‘auld’ times and the countryside; airs and jigs and graces that spoke of a life not like this one, a life more tranquil, a life back then.

The irony of the situation was not lost on Mac.

Boiler-suited bullies roamed the yard, shoving and forcing, using a fist here and a cudgel there if necessary.

‘Work!’ they shouted.

‘Faster!’

‘Harder!’

‘Better!’

A particularly brutish lout barged past Mac to grab an old man by the collar. ‘You helped write this rotten stinking stuff,’ he screamed, ‘now get on with destroying it!’

The man looked terrified. It was Gilly.

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