Confessions of an Irish Rebel
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Behan writes about his life from his release from Borstal in 1941 to his marriage to Beatrice ffrench Salkeld in 1956. It was only by the end of this period that he became better known as a successful writer and playwright than as a rebel.
me, fed me and gave me ammunition—money, not bullets. This Literary Luncheon at Harrogate was a marvellous affair and was one of the few pure pleasures of my life. I met Frank Swinnerton, for whom I've a great affection, and I was treated very nicely by Lord Boothby and the Countess of Harewood in the charming way that only the English have, when they like and if they like. The Irish charm is rather facile and also we have a tendency to say sometimes, not what we believe but what we think we are
on the roll of fame In letters of purest gold. To the cold barrack square the young hero they brought him, A bandage they put round, they put round his head, The smoke of the rifles, it sounded no warning, When the blast fell away, our young hero lay dead. Lay him away on the hillsides Along with the brave and the bold, Inscribe his name on the roll of fame In letters of purest gold. Stephen Lally was a brave soldier of England and a very brave soldier of Ireland and a good tempered
mind while O'Leary and I went along and got a room at the Lighthouse Cafe where we handed our ration books to Bert, the proprietor. And he expressed himself as well pleased, because it appears that we were given extra rations; we got sailor's rations, though I don't know why we did because we were not sailing anywhere. Thanks be to God, the lighthouse we were to paint was a shore station at the end of the pier. In the bar that night, I remarked on the acid old one in the bus to the fishermen I
in Paris. In the popular imagination, the Beaux Arts School is a sort of Tir na nOg (land of my youth) of young geniuses, painting and sculpting with fresh, savage efficiency during the working day, cursing the professors, damning all academies, till the light fades, the stars rise over the garret and Mimi, the little midinette, knocks timidly on the door and comes in with the bottle of wine, the piece of veal, the garlic, the bread and cheese purchased, mayhap, with the fruits of her long day's
winding the dogwatch and, with infinite skill, putting little ships into bottles. The Fixer, Gabriel, Smithy, Jonesy and I retired aft to drink rum, like sailors. There would be no shortage of bottles. We sailed up the coast to Newry on November 11th and arrangements had to be made with the Urban District Council for the shipment of a cargo of apples and a British Customs manifest to say that we'd come from a United Kingdom port and therefore would not be subject to the usual customs