I promised ye a pleasant surprise and golden life opportunity this month, and I am now keeping my word.
Ye need to sit down and steady yourselves because, truly, this is a world exclusive and special offer totally reserved for you good readers. It is apt also that it is being written in Willie Walsh's pub in the center of the heritage town of Killaloe in the very hour in which Donald Trump takes over the White House and the clearly Disunited States.
Robert De Niro and many others have threatened to exile themselves from the likely consequences of that. If you are amongst that large group, and especially maybe if you are undocumented and worried about your future in Trump's tenure, then you are fortunate to be reading this.
Before I go any further, can I reveal that Annet and I paid €120,000 two years ago to purchase a compact terraced home a six minute walk away from the bar stool I'm sitting on now. It was the bargain of a lifetime for us because it gave us a niche in a richly warm and friendly yet cosmopolitan heritage town on the banks of the Shannon and silvery Lough Derg.
Incredibly, because of circumstance, I am telling you readers here today that the fastest mover amongst you can purchase this mighty pub for €290,000 ($309, 000) and thereby construct a new lifestyle for yourselves very far away from the White House. The offer is open for one month from today and, as they say, divil take the hindmost! If I was a decade younger and more energetic I swear I would buy the pub myself. However, the reality is that I was designed for this side of the long traditional bar at which I'm sitting here tapping away.
In the true nature of Irish craic the lads and lassies alongside are mercilessly slagging me as I write. “What lies, Cormac, are you spinning today? Who are you sending the bulls*** to today?” That kind of stuff.
They cannot understand why I am grinning away and not responding in kind. I'm grinning because no local person has any knowledge at all about this special offer just for you lot.
They won't have an idea of what is happening until some of you over there with a Clare connection phones home with the news. Remarkably true. All of ye know that a good Irish pub is a home from home in a fashion which has much more to do with socializing than alcohol. I never thought I would so quickly find a replacement for the Honk when we left Shannon, but Bernie and Willie Walsh run the kind of house where you are quickly at ease. It is very special and, above all, the craic and location is excellent.
The official name of the pub is Top of the Town, and it is indeed slap bang in the center, a minute away across the road from the historic site of Brian Boru's fabled Kincora Palace, now the location of the town chapel whose congregations, after occasions like weddings and funerals, form a significant thread of the lively trade. So too, apart from the locals slagging me now, the skippers and crews of the pleasure craft on the Shannon below and the generality of the tourism trade.
Where I'm sitting now is only about a two minute walk, incidentally, from the bridge across the Shannon which links Killaloe with its equally interesting sister town of Ballina in Tipperary. There are music sessions here often, singsongs and pool and darts and suchlike, a conservatory and beer garden and smoking zone outside, and the two story building has extensive living accommodation for the Walsh family including four bedrooms and ancillary accommodation. Bernie has told me there is also a huge attic which could easily be converted for even more living space which would boast an unrivaled view of the two counties.
It is a combination of the family's farming and equine businesses just now which creates this commercial opportunity for one of you. Just for a month from today! Nothing is perfect in any situation. There is a drawback here too. It is to be a written condition of any sale by the Walsh family to you that Cormac MacConnell cannot be barred from the premises for any reason for the next 15 years.
Even if I arrive up late and start arguments I cannot be barred. Not even if I disrupt a good music session by insisting on singing one of my own dreadfully maudlin ballads with my bad singing voice. Not even then!
I'm certain, however, the strongest amongst you can deal with, that and I will try to behave much better in future. On that front it would be helpful if the new management instantly barred forever the Tony who tried to kill my beloved daughter Ciara by mounting her on his skittish mare Murphy after Christmas.
And, even more so, bar Big Joe who mercilessly, night after night, instigates debates and arguments which the bastard always wins. Bar Big Joe immediately. That's it. The rest is up to the most adventurous of you. I have nothing more to do with any transaction.
Do not get in touch with me. Contact Bernie Walsh at [email protected] and tell her that Cormac sent you! And good luck.