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Skeletons in the Closet — Really

My whole extended family lives in Ireland and I go back and forth a lot, and this past summer one of my cousins sat me down and told me that the house my grandmother lives in actually contains the body of a British soldier in its foundations. Back before the Easter Rising and revolutions for independence, sometime around the turn of the century, my great grandparents were building a new house. Only the foundations were set while they remained in their small cottage. During this time the British controlled Ireland, and one of the rules was that Irish people couldn’t possess guns. Black and Tans (British soldiers sent to Ireland to control its people) would travel around and could do what they like with the Irish. They had been known to shoot the men they found with weapons, so there was a lot of fear associated with them. One night a black and tan came to the house and ordered them to let him in so he could search the house. There were guns in the house so apparently, my great grandfather shot and killed the soldier, rather than be killed himself, and that night they buried him in the foundations of the house so no one would uncover the body. No one came looking for the missing soldier, and the house was built up around him. Apparently, this is the reason the fireplace is off-center, because the body lies in the middle.

Una Sammon

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