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The Author

Restricted To Beer will be available soon.


Excerpt 2 from Restricted To Beer


To get there on time they caught a taxi at the railway station then dumped the suitcases at the back of the church. At 3 o’clock precisely the organ ratcheted up. Pamela, in dazzling white, appeared at the back of the church. As she glided up the aisle she looked untouchable. Not so the bridesmaids, thought Patrick.

  He nudged Paul. “The pink one’s mine.”
  But from the moment she arrived at the altar steps, it was all downhill. Father Rafferty droned and droned, on and on, sermonising about the virtues of marriage. Patrick kept looking at his watch – the race would be over by now and still no effing nuptials.

  “I pronounce you man and wife,” boomed Father Rafferty.

  “At long bloody last,” said Patrick noisily and elbowing Paul.

  Paul whispered, “Man and wife? Pamela will,be having words with that priest. She told him he had to say, I now pronounce you woman and husband.”

  “You may now kiss the bride,” gushed Father Rafferty.

  It would be over soon, surely. But the priest opened his green book and announced the number of the next hymn. So they sung even more verses. And that still wasn't it. He had to say just a few more words about the journey into married life upon which the happy couple here had embarked. God. Weddings! Patrick fidgeted with impatience. Just sign a piece of paper and get the effing beers out, he thought.
  “And finally, all relatives, friends and myself of course, wish both of you that important element on your journey though life’s tribulations.”

  “Good luck you mean. Give me strength,” sighed Patrick.

  “Sssh,” hissed Paul.

  But the fella in the robes had more to say. “Our good luck wishes conveyed, I would to thank all you fellows who have manage to come on this busy day. Saturdays are so crammed with all this sport, aren't they?”

  "Damn right," grimaced Patrick. Others smiled. Who could find this priest funny?

  “I thought I could indulge you sports fans. You might like to know that the latest score in the Test Match is England 165 for no wicket.” Father Rafferty’s eyes hopped hopefully to each of the males in the congregation. He looked liked he expected a clap or something.

  It was a rush of blood. In a risk-abandoned moment, Patrick raised his hand. Immediately put it down again. It was a bad idea. But too late, it had been spotted.

  “Yes my son - was that a question? We don’t often get questions. This place normally empties in minutes.”

  It gained a laugh and heads craned round. Paul was staring too. Patrick felt hot with embarrassment.

  “Oh er, it doesn’t matter, Father,” he replied, trying to shrink into the pew.

   “It’s not a problem to ask. Recall the words of the Lord. Ask and thou shalt receive”

  “Well er ... Father, do you know what won the Ascot 2:45?”

Excerpt 3 from Restricted To Beer


Next day the Garda planned more impromptu visiting. Not ringing first – just turning up. People often popped out otherwise. It was the turn of Niall Murphy to be hauled into the station.

  “Do you know why you are here, Mr Murphy?”

  “The Maggie Regan business, I guess.”

  “Where were you on Tuesday morning between 10:30 and 11:30?”

  “At home.”

  “Did you phone anyone?”

  “I’d been trying to contact my brother, Patrick, so I phoned Maggie in case she’d seen anything of him.”

  “How long is it since you’ve seen Patrick?”

  “A month or so.”

  “Do you know where he is?”

  “Belfast I think, but I don’t have details.”

  “Is Patrick in any trouble?”

  “I don’t think so. He’s er, not that sort.”

  “One last thing, Mr Murphy. We have a question that has been sort of bothering us."

  "What is it, officer?"

  "We've checked phone records and you've only made one recent call to Margaret Regan. It was seconds before a death occurred on her premises. Quite a coincidence, wouldn’t you say?”

  “I know what you're saying, officer. It bothers me too," replied the concerned looking Murphy. "Really put me off making phone calls it has. Get a grip, I keep telling meself."

  "So it's given you some kind of - can't use use the phone any more disorder?"

  "At first, but I'm coming to terms with it. It's a risk that we take when we phone anyone I suppose,” sighed Murphy.

  “Aye, you're right there, Mr Murphy.” nodded the officer thoughtfully.

  Happier, they permitted Niall Murphy to go.