Rory was a larger than life character,always good humoured,
full of fun and ever the optimist.We met when he came to live
in our area and we got on like a house on fire through our
mutual love of guzzling food and drink and our fondness for
horseracing and hunting.If a new restaurant opened anywhere
in the "Pale ",we just had to give it a try out,often spending
200 pounds on a meal for four,a shitload of money in the late
70s.I've often said we were never Millionaires,but by fuck we
lived like we were,we had a fuckin' ball in those days.We both
owned our own businesses at the time and while I because of
working 16/18 hours a day could just about afford our life-
style,Rory was somewhat different.
Rory was what was known as a loveable rogue,big smile,loud
laugh and always a great story to tell (Could use him here most
days ) and he could charm the birds out of the sky but he had
one fatal flaw,he never even tried to live within his means.He
and his family took two holidays a year along with several
long weekends,and both always drove decent cars.Rory was
also one of the best liars I have ever come across and could
quite easily have lied for Ireland,had there been an Olympic
competition for liars.Ireland was a big place in those days
because of no c.c.t.v.s or central computers and he was the
scourge of bank-managers up and down the country and was
a master of the art of Kite flying**,often having up to fifteen
different cheque-books on the go at once.His wife was as bad
as him and I often heard her say;
"Go out and cash an oul' cheque and we'll head off for the
As the possee closed in Rory became more desperate and
started bouncing cheques locally,where he had previously
kept his nose clean.He ended owing money to every trader
in town and plenty of individuals as well.The final straw was
him stroking a mutual friend,a pensioner who had just
received compensation for an accident,Rory did the poor
oul' cunt out of a Grand,end of story between us.I kissed
the money he owed me,about 2 Grand,goodbye,and put
it down to experience and anyway,the ride had been well
Shortly after that the Banks reposessed Rory's house and
a short time later his wife fucked him out and he disappeared,
dipping beneath the radar for a couple of years.There were
plenty of sightings,
"You'll never guess who I saw in Manchester "
"I had a drink with your old mate in Galway last month,he
was asking for you "
Came the mid-Eighties and businesses ,including mine,were
closing down like it was going out of fashion due to the
re-fuckin'-session.Money was as scarse as hen's teeth and
the last thing we needed was a call from friend Rory.The
Fraud-squad had arrested him and he was asking/begging
me to bail him.
"How much will it be ?",thinking it would be a few hundred.
"Definately no more than 3 Grand."
"You're fuckin' joking,who'd you kill ?"
"Nobody,just a few cheques."
"Leave it with me "
I should have told him to fuck off,but there was still a little
history between us,and the poor cunt sounded desperate.
Mrs. Barney was a different story,she went into melt-
down, and she didn't know a fraction of what he had owed
"If you give that Bastard another penny you needn't come
To tell you the truth it wasn't much of a dilemma because
if it was a question of a few hundred and I knew where he
lived,I could Bail him and phsyically drag him to Court If
I had to,but not knowing this and sure that he would do a
runner left me an easy choice.He rang again about 3 weeks
before the Trial to see if I was coming to court ,I said I
would,and I did.
The Prosecuting Lawyer took about 10 minutes to read
out all the charges,Fraudulently presenting cheques up and
down the Country and some in Germany which were the
real killers,and numerous other charges,including failing
to appear on several occasions,enough to make your hair
stand on end.The Gardai asked for the case to be put
back for three weeks and not surprisingly strenuously
objected to bail.The oul' bollocks of a Judge set Bail at
4 Thousand Punts and asked if there was a Bailsman
present.Rory's Solicitor stood up,
"I believe theres a Mr. Barney in court to act as Bailsman"
"Can you come to the Witness box please,Mr. Barney ?"
asked the Judge.
"Whats your name,etc.,etc."
"Did you bring a Bankers Draft to the Court with you ?"
"No, your Honour."
"Cash ? "
"No, your Honour."
"Well do you own your own Business ?"
"No, your Honour."
He looked at Rory,he looked at each Solicitor in turn,he
looked at the Detective and looked at me,
"Would you mind telling the Court,Mr. Barney,what
exactly you are doing here ?"
"Well your Honour,the last time I was given Bail,I only
had to sign something (true) to get myself released and
I assumed the same would apply here."
"Thank you Mr. Barney,you may leave the Witness box."
I met Rory about three years later,
"You're some bollix."
"What do you mean ?"
"You didn't Bail me,I had to do two years "
"I thought you'd get someone else "
"Who the fuck would bail me ?"
I don't know whether he did actually do two years as he was
such a liar,but if he did,it seemed fair enough to me for all
the money he embezzled over the years.
* The Pale; When Ireland was part of the British Empire,
an area comprising of Dublin city and county,parts of
Kildare and a part of North Wicklow as far south as Bray was
more heavily protected than the rest of the Country and in
maps of the time this safer area was shown as a lighter
colour.From this comes the saying "Beyond the Pale ".We
generally only use the term "The Pale " nowadays for
Slagging and Banter.
** Kite flying ; Then as now,cheques (kites) took 5 days to
clear but the difference was that you could draw on the cheque
as soon as you lodged it,and if you knew the cheque was dodgy
you would lodge a different one on the fifth day.In theory you
could have made yourself out to be a millionaire (on paper) by
this practise,known as "Flying a Kite ".Nowadays this is not
possible as Banks will not allow you to draw on a Kite until
it has been cleared. Just one of the reasons they were called
"the good old days."