Lads and lassies, I have been in dire straits in my life on many occasions, but never worse than now. I am undone, unmanned, fearful, shocked, powerless to do anything that might improve my options.

I am akin to an old grey rabbit caught and paralyzed in the center of a busy road by oncoming headlights. The end is nigh. Our editor Debbie will have me sacked before the end of February because none of you will ever read me anymore.

And no other readership will tolerate me either on either side of the Atlantic. Woe is me.

I blame a woman I've never knowingly met nor done any harm to. With word that can be compared to the sting of a dying wasp I name her now.

She is a Kirsten Saxe and she trades as a genetic genealogist in Washington, D.C., and she is one dangerous lady.

An hour ago the Dutch Nation donned her nurse's blouse and operated upon her broken husband in the corner. She sharply enough scraped the inside of my cheeks (that have helped produce a million rebel songs down the years) and she ejected the scrapings into small test tubes.

She then went off with a brown envelope and posted the test tubes to the lethal Kirsten Saxe in Washington, D.C. before I could stop her.

I was a broken man anyway at this stage. The deadly Saxe had enlisted the aid of strong men of my own trade like Liam Ferrie and Michael Keaveney in her project to capture my DNA.

My deepest and most intimate genetic secrets went away to Washington, D.C in those test tubes. God have mercy on me.

I don't need a DNA sample at all to know something about the lady. With a name like Kirsten Saxe she just has to have the vile Saxon blood in her.

Furthermore, being called Kirsten, she is probably also connected along her own DNA with the merciless mercenary Bavarians who helped William of Orange smash the native Irish in 1690 at the Battle of the Boyne.

I have a zany head, as ye know. I see a large Boedecian lady in Washington chuckling gleefully over my poor wee test tubes about next Wednesday morning as she embarks upon the next stage of her absolutely foul project.

Why she does it I do not know. What did I ever do to annoy her?

Ye may think I am over-reacting to this situation. Let me explain how I am not at all.

You see, my DNA had been extracted and dispatched before I realized exactly what the lady is up to in Washington, D.C.

In plain man's language, forgetting all about the accursed chromosomes that are the tools of her trade, the Kirsten Saxe is about to prove that I, as a male MacConnell from Ulster, am directly connected with the powerful McMurrough-Kavenagh clan of Leinster. They were for centuries the princes and kings of Leinster, a very formidable family indeed.

So, you might ask, what is wrong with having such illustrious ancestors?

I'll tell ye what's dreadfully wrong with that scenario. Ye might remember how shocked I was some years ago to discover that one of my grandmothers was a Protestant from a Big House. That matters a lot when you were born Papish in the Black North like I was.

And this new development is infinitely worse because it was the McMurrough-Kavenaghs (a pox on all their bones!) who brought the English into Ireland in the first place.

Specifically, it was a knave called King Dermot MacMurrough who brought them in so that he would win some petty Leinster war nine or 10 centuries ago. They arrived in the guise of chain-mailed Normans, swinging broadswords, killing all around them.

They were the Panzer tanks of their era and, of course, the bastards have never left the island since.
Am I not entitled to be shocked and destroyed in my self-esteem by the Saxe plot to link me to the least respected bloodline in all Ireland? The truth is that I am shattered.

We had a lovely myth about where the Ulster clans of MacConnells hailed from and we relate it often. Our myth was that the first Connell was a most handsome peasant boy from Antrim who was so charming that the princess to whom he had been appointed horse gillie and bodyguard, away back before St. Patrick, fell totally in love with him, married him and fled to Scotland with him before her angry daddy could behead him.

And she brought him back to great riches and power when the old father eventually relented.
That was our myth and we loved it.

And that is the lovely myth -- never genetically checked of course -- which the lethal Saxe in Washington, D.C. is about to explode next spring when she has finished tinkering with my test tubes.

There is a very long folk memory in Ireland. There is not a night that King Dermot McMurrough is not blackly cursed somewhere on the island.

And to be descended from him effectively means that I will never be able to hold up my poor old head again.
And Debbie will sack me because ye will no longer read me. Neither will anybody else.

I will become so depressed that the Dutch Nation will divorce me. I will hit the bottles in the Honk very hard indeed and, beyond reasonable doubt, will be found dead behind a wintery ditch before this decade is out.

Woe, I say, woe, woe, woe is me tonight!