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Black Van; The Cardinal; Incomplete; Scribbled; Coal

Friday 10 June 2011.

Exercised. Dressed in black “legal” 42” slacks, Argyle grey/black/pink socks, black patent Clarks, white FootJoy golf T-shirt, navy old Stena fleece, sky blue Nike golf cap with on orange ball marker pinned to the peak, glasses. Paul McNeill parked his black van behind my iQ in Main Street, Dunleer. Joined in singing, “Abide with Me,” in the parish church at 12.00. Fr. Murphy’s brother spoke at the lectern. The Cardinal (Seán Brady) was the principal celebrant at mass and he preached extremely well on Fr. John Murphy’s life and person. Bishop Clifford performed the obsequies in Mosstown graveyard where I took out ostentatiously my one decade rosary beads, which were given to me as a gift in Italy. I also tried to sing along with the Salve Regina intoned by all the priests at the end of the burial ceremony. I was delighted to meet Nikki Mackin both before and after the burial ceremony in the graveyard. Shook hands with Fr. John McKeever who looked at me disapprovingly; and with Fr. Pádraig Murphy: at the top of the sloped field where my car was parked. Lovely morning and Fr. Pádraig seemed in the best of humour. I said I was going to see if my brother was up out of bed and that I would try to annoy him. Anyway Teddy gave me tea and chocolate cake. I was not wearing dentures and my left upper gum was sore so I could not masticate anything hard or tough. Played ball with the shitzu. John Byrne showed me round the GAA centre in Darver. Unfinished driveway. Gym, showers, meeting rooms, kitchen, toilets; state of the art: assembly room; incomplete. 6 pitches. The main pitch exactly the same dimensions as Croke Park. A few pitches with artificial surfaces. At home ate salad including ham, cheese, balsamic vinegar; three slices of buttered brown topped with pâté; one slice of buttered brown topped with marmalade; a mug of tea. Fire lit. Rosanna gone to be sub in Greenore for Miele 4xball match v Dundalk. Surprisingly Greenore won I found out when Rosanna returned home near mid-night. Read e-mail. Long phone call from Dessie who wanted to know about the funeral. Ate an orange. Later I came up from the sitting room and prepared sardines-on-toast and put marmalade on a slice of buttered brown. Demolished all with a mug of tea. Scribbled journal for the past two days into my reporter’s notebook. Mentioned Greenore Golf Club to Fr. John Murphy’s brother after the burial and had, by chance, a bit of a conversation with Anthony Murphy, a nephew of Fr. John’s, who is editor of The Dundalk Democrat. Put on my pyjamas and washed my teeth before getting in to bed at 23.45 preparing to rise early for golf tomorrow with Con Rice, Niall and Aidan Mulvanney. Left the ventilator open. Charged the fire in the White Elephant Lounge with coal twice this evening.

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