Thursday, December 18, 2008

...what I expected to find ...

I don't know what I expected to find at Ardboe. What I did find was not what I expected. I guess I was thinking it would be like many of the other ancient places we had seen up to this point, but I was taken aback by the presence of so many recently dead from "The Troubles."

As we were wondering about the sight, which was rather hard to find in the first place, a man walked up to us and started a conversation with Steve. I believe his name was Paul Ryan. He was from Brooklyn. He explained that was here to bury his father and visit the graves of his brother's.

His brother, Peter Ryan was Catholic and a member of the IRA. Acording to the Index of deaths during the conflict he was shot during an ambush by undercover British Army (BA) members, while driving through Coagh, County Tyrone on 03 June 1991 at the age of 35.

Another Grave that he pointed out was that of a hunger striker named Michael Devine who was 27 years old and a member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). Michael joined the hunger strike on 22 June 1981 and died on 20 August 1981 after 60 days without food.


We were shocked when we worked our way around to the back side of the Church Walls, and peered inside at the graves filling the entire foundation. I can't describe it even now. The picture in the Video doesn't convey the reality of being there either. You just have to take my word for it.

It has taken me some time to process my feelings about this location. I couldn't even approach it chronologically when I was creating the first video's so I skipped over it and decided to come back to it later. It's later now and I'm still profoundly affected.

As you read through the Cain website you find that Surnames do not always indicate affiliation with one side or the other. Of the Gilmore/Gilmour's for instance 3 are Catholic and 2 are Protestant. It's always about Religion. Not the teachings of Christ, but the teachings of Christ as two sides interpret it.


Signs of the conflict were visible most everywhere we went; but we went there anyway. I walk as a "Child of Light" as Pastor Brian has said of me and we were in some neighborhoods that people we stayed with and visited would have cautioned us from going in the strongest of language. I never inquired of Alan about his own experiences, I'm sure that as the head of the ER in Derry he must have had some harrowing moments. I didn't think it was polite to inquire for some reason. I guess I was still processing. The conflict and the peace process has pretty much subsided for now. I pray that it is at an end for good.

I LOVE Ireland! North and South. Protestant and Catholic (...of which I am descended from both.) I refuse to take sides and so stand in the middle. A "Child of Light", loving everyone, in spite of themselves. As the Man Jesus would have done.


I couldn't do the spacey new age music in this Video. It just didn't seem right. That may have given some people a more "Thin Place" feel, but it just would have avoided the issue's. I have used as a Soundtrack a song by my favorite Ulster-Scot Musicians: "The Low Country Boys". The Song is their version of Doc Watson's Classic: "Beautiful Golden Somewhere." I saw Doc and Merle preform the same song many years ago at "Lenox on the Lawn" in the late 70's during my "Hippie Day's". When I heard The Low Country Boys do it, it seemed to be connected for me. It summed things up in a way I couldn't.

Again, I hope that they will forgive me for not waiting for permission, (..that poor starving Artist thingie again...) And I hope you will patronize their Web-site as linked in the paragraph above. I give them credit here and in the Video; with much thanks and Peace in Christ...

...Maybe you could even buy a CD or two while you're at it. I received mine when I visited the Ulster-Scot Agency Building in Belfast... but that's another story, for another day....


I wrote this a few days ago, got involved in searching down
Genealogical leads.... I only got the chance to post it now as I just finished the Video.

Sunday 21/Dec/08 2:03 a.m.