Muddlers Club - News Letter - 1803

Aftermath and trauma

When I was 14, my family took a trip to the Scottish Borders to visit my aunt and uncle who’d bought a farm there. It was the first time I’d been out of Ireland and to me it felt like a whole new world. Bridies, Irn Bru, midges that were more bitey. And I distinctly remember thinking – where are all the helicopters? Back home we heard the low chook, chook, chook of a chinook helicopter pretty much every day. The police guns, the checkpoints, the army combing the fields. The grey heaviness in the air.

Oh I didn’t see much trouble, but our town was blown up a few times…

We can’t help but absorb the world around us. The trauma of an oppressive normality. But we don’t recognise it as trauma, because when you’re in it, you can’t really see it – just the occasional glimpse of a shadow in the rear view mirror. Yet it undoubtedly alters the way we look through the windscreen at the journey ahead. Is it safe to talk about it yet? To somehow find words to describe this blanket of fear?

I love the townland where I was brought up. And I’m very grateful for the people I grew up with.

In the days before I left for pastures new.
In the days before I forgot where I came from.

[Illustration and narrative – an excerpt from “The Muddlers Club“]


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