Eleven or twelve years ago, I worked as a barman here in Dublin. Three sisters used come in every Sunday night and they would flirt with me quite a lot, although they were significantly older than me (I was around 18 at the time). One Sunday they told me they were going to a nightclub after the pub. Being young and stupid, I decided to go as well but I hadn’t the guts to go alone. So I roped in my good friend, Yojimbo. We showed up at the club and chatted and danced with the sisters. One of them mentioned that I shouldn’t get too close as her husband wouldn’t be too pleased. It never went beyond flirting and we parted company at the end of the night.
A couple of years later, one of Dublin’s most notorious criminals, Martin Cahill, was shot dead by the IRA. There was huge publicity and pictures of his funeral were widely circulated. Our friends from the nightclub were featured prominently. One of them was married to him and he had children with the two others (his domestic arrangements were quite unusual). The nightclub we were in was less than half a mile from his house. He was never convicted with murder but you can get a full account of his often violent adventures in two major motion pictures - The General, with Brendan Gleeson and Ordinary Decent Criminal with Kevin Spacey. Obviously, Yojimbo was thrilled I involved him.
Also, a friend of mine lived with a guy who had been very active in the IRA in the 1970s. I met him a few times - he’s a university lecturer in Irish nowadays. He served 12 years in Ireland and is still wanted in the UK for bombings carried out in Britain. The terms of the Good Friday Agreement don’t apply to him as he never served time in the UK. He still can’t cross the border.