TROUBLES ON THE ENEMY'S MOOR INT. LAGANSIDE COURT, BELFAST 1985 - DAY We find ourselves in a court room, full of people and bustling with noise. A man, (Paddy O'Thello 30), sits on the right hand side of the docks, with two policemen to his left, a solicitor to his right and a further two policemen to the right of them. He has short black hair and piercing blue eyes. He sits in shackles staring blankly ahead. On the left hand side of he docks sits a much thinner man, Ciann Callighan 31, with darting eyes and just one solicitor sitting to his left and a policeman to his right... A hammer bangs three times and the court is called to order. JUDGE This court is in session regarding the brutal and seemingly unprovoked murder of Dierdre O'Thello, wife of Paddy O'Thello and daughter of Barry st. Michael, the ulster unionist, a pivotal figure in relations between Northern Ireland and the Mainland. The first witness to be called forward is Ciann Callighan; former friend of the accused and recognised kingpin in various IRA linked terror attacks. Ciann steps up and is put under oath… on the King James Bible. A contradiction in itself. Paddy writhes in his shackles in the dock. JUDGE (CONT'D) For the benefit of the court, Mr. Callighan, could you please reiterate your relationship with the accused, Mr. O'Thello? CIANN smirks CIANN I have known the accused for the best part of ten years, Your Honour. We met in a bar in Dublin one week after the 1974 car bombings that killed 33 people. A five month old baby was among the victims along with pensioners. Either way, the only thing connecting the random victims was innocence. An innocent woman, too, was Martha O'Thello , mother of the accused whose family had only a severed, nail riddled thigh and some blood stained tufts of hair to bury and grieve over. Ciann casts a nervous glance at his former friend, companion and soldier. His glance is met by fierce eyes before continuing with his story. CIANN (CONT'D) I'd never met a man with so much fire and hatred in his eyes. He looked rough, haggard and sat in the corner drinking straight whiskey all day long. When I approached him he asked if I wanted to live or die… PROSECUTOR Objection, Your Honour. The witness is transgressing from the matter at hand. What has this got to do with soliciting the murder of Mr. St. Michael's daughter? JUDGE Objection observed Mr. Callighan, you digress. Please tell the court how and why you convinced this political soldier to murder his wife, as she slept? A stifled cough from the court. CIANN I acted out of jealousy, your Honour. I was jealous of the power wrought by Paddy in the North. I was envious of his position too. We are both southern Catholics. We should have been equal. I soon became lieutenant to Paddy; his second and inferior. Not only was I merely the laughing stock and henchman of the operation, Paddy wronged me in ways he could have never imagined. Rumour has it he slept with my wife. I planted seeds of doubt in his mind. I wanted to crush him. I wanted him to feel my pain. Quick shot of Paddy sitting in the docks, a single tear running down his cheek which falls of the end of the crucifix hanging round his neck CIANN (CONT'D) I set up his 'new best friend', Connor. Fecker thought he could take my place. I had him falsely accused of murder and Paddy disowned him as a liability to 'The Cause'. Of course Connor tried to regain favour through Deirdre, begging her to ask Paddy to reconsider. The Cause was after all our purpose in life. Paddy grew suspicious of always bumping into Connor. He was under the impression his wife had been sleeping with him. Far was it from me to either confirm or deny his thoughts, but sit back and watch them fester and grow. JUDGE Are you saying you actively encouraged doubt in your friend and superiors head? CIANN He is no friend of mine. He is an animal. A barbarian. Paddy rises in an attempt to attack Cain but his shackles hold him back. JUDGE Answer the question. CIANN I did, your honour. I twisted and manipulated him beyond repair. I used the guilt born in every catholic to crush him. It was his own doing. He came to his own conclusions. I merely… pointed in the wrong direction. JUDGE Judge: Is it also true that you suggested Connor had links to the Ulster Volunteer Force? Those suspected of having perpetrated the 1974 Dublin car bombings? And that you insinuated that Deirdre O'Thello, wife of the accused, had been passing information from Paddy to Connor regarding attacks and names of associates? CIANN I let slip that Connor's brother was heavily involved in the trial. I never suggested anything solid… JUDGE Did you or did you not say that Connor was honest? And you planted an Ulster unionist's flag in Deirdre's room, did you not, also? CIANN Planted? I misplaced it. But to O'thello, it was living proof of her disloyalty, and as for Connor, I suggested his honesty but never confirmed it… Your Honour, all I have done is to speak timidly. I barely fuelled his curiosity and played on his naiveté. He has undone himself, I think. JUDGE Mr Callighan, Thank you, you may step down. Callighan is led away handcuffed by policemen towards the cells. Paddy O'Thello is brought into the docks, shackled like an animal. He too, reluctantly swears upon the King James bible; an oath that means nothing. PADDY Oh monstrous! How have I ended up here? That man is evil. (Points to door) pure, incarnate evil! Here I stand shackled and humiliated like an animal. A foreigner and outsider in my own occupied land. A barbarian, manipulated to commit the ultimate sin and murder my love. That man! That sorry and lowly excuse of a man is the real criminal. He fights not for the colours of orange, white and green, but only green. He is a bitter and envious soul. I stand here before you on trial for murder at the end of a journey I started out of passion. Am I the barbarian for fighting against the unlawful killing of my people and family? Am I the barbarian for wanting to unite the peoples of a divided country that share the same language, literature and history? Am I the barbarian for trusting my best friend and putting faith in him? Now my wife and love lies buried. That lewd minx. I smothered her in her sleep… Paddy O'Thello, looks into the court and see's Connor alive, peering out from behind two big men, that look like bodyguards and begins to sob as the camera slowly pans out and the shot switches to Ciann Callighan alone in a cell CIANN He got what he deserved. All the boys are waiting for me to take his place when I get out. I'm going to be the leader. The instigator of the reunion. The lone soldier fighting the loyalists. No longer will I be second place. I crushed that man. I hate him. I hate him…
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Short Story / Literary Fiction
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