Character Interview – Mike O’ Malley

Mike is one of the main characters in The Butterfly & The Bull. This is not so much an interview as a stream of consciousness.

Make mine a large whisky there, while yer at it.

Childhood? Ah, well, that was just a grand time, so it was. Me father was a farmer in County Mayo. That’s in Ireland – will folks know that? Oh, right. So. There were three of us – me and me sisters. I was the youngest. We all helped our Da on the farm, but there was plenty o’ time for me to be gettin’ up to mischief, so there was.  Me Ma was a nervous wreck with it. Never sure when me remains were goin’ to be brought to her in a shovel. Anyway, me bein a wild child an’ mostly as disreputable lookin’ as yon cow o’ Feargal Byrne’s that he accidentally hauled through a hedge backwards with his tractor, they were all taken aback (and none more so than me, I can tell ye) when I did well at the school. Most o’ the time, they forgave me for the bloody noses, the torn jerseys, the angry phone calls an’ the occasional visit from the local bobby, as long as me test marks held up.

Oops! My but I’m all thumbs the day! Just as well the glass was empty. Another one? Ah, don’t mind if I do. Yer a scholar and a gentleman, sir.

Where was I now? Oh, aye. So, I finished me schoolin’ an’ went off to Dublin to study medicine. Probably because I’d heard these boys have a whale o’ a time at Uni. And I’m here to tell ye that was a terrible understatement, so it was! The first year was just a blur and the good burghers o’ Dublin were lockin’ up there daughters, oh yes indeed they were. But I showed me mettle again. Takes more than six pints o’ Guinness a day an’ a few parents threatenin’ to blow him to kingdom come to slow done Mike O’Malley. I got five star reviews for me studies and it wasn’t until me last year that the real trouble started. Found meself walkin’ down the road one day with a bunch o’ bold boys an’ realized we all had guns in our hands. And that was it. Oh, I finished me studies and became Dr O’Malley alright, but the IRA was like a Dyson vacuum, so it was – sucked ye in before ye knew it and whirled ye round so hard ye could hardly think.

What? Psychopaths? Oh, aye, like a magnet to those boys, for sure. But most o’ them were ordinary folk like me, thinkin’ we were doin’ the best thing for our country. Well, I was soon enough dissuaded from that point o’ view, I can tell ye! But it was a bit like bein’ in the Templars or whatever – hard to get into an’ even harder to leave. So I just bided me time. When the Troubles were passed, I went back to County Mayo. Me Da an’ me Ma had passed an’ I ran the farm for a whiley an’ did some doctorin’. Then the financial collapse came an’ I took a leaf out of me ancestors’ book an’ became a kind o’ a pirate. The place was hemorrhaging folk by then an’ I chummed up with a couple o’ local boys an we set ourselves up on an island. Yon was the place where I met Donnie McLennan. Did he tell you I kidnapped him? Who’d have thought it, eh? Grand way to make new friends!

Another one? Och, well that’s very good o’ ye. I’ll not be sayin’ no to such an offer.

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