The Bleeding Hills
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
– 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. Finn is protected in his exile in the United States after having worked for the CIA. Consequently, British Intelligence has come up with a plan to lure Finn back into their jurisdiction, Northern Ireland, by revealing the identity of the man who is ultimately responsible for the killing of Finn’s wife, Shauna. Here they hope not only to apprehend him, but also lead them to another conspirator, Martin Sheehan, who hides in the Northern provinces. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland.
The Bleeding Hills, my first novel, is divided into three time lines; they keep the reader glued to the story by providing some surprising twists and turns. The first time line describes the life of Finnean Whelan and his first contact with the Irish Republican Army in the late 1960s. The second line is set in the presence and it portrays Whelan’s journey to Northern Ireland where he intends to accomplish his final plot. The third time line is dedicated to the activities of British Intelligence Services, namely the MI5, attempting to apprehend Whelan and his co-conspirator, Martin Sheehan. All time lines come together in the end and they make for some intriguing twists.
I have weaved real events of recent Irish history, namely the Irish Troubles, into the life story of Finnean Whelan. They are, just to name a few examples, the events of Bloody Sunday, and the murder of Captain Robert Nairac, an officer with the British Army. The historical facts have been thoroughly investigated, but I also took some liberties for interpretation; these interpretations are, nevertheless, based on meticulous research. One theory, for instance, is that Captain Robert Nairac was the victim of child abuse at Ampleforth College in England, which, consequently, caused Nairac’s violent behavior during the Irish Troubles.
Another interesting theory is based on the claim that British Intelligence Services were instrumental in a plot to disrupt the peace process in Northern Ireland. Whether or not these claims are true is of no consequence; The Bleeding Hills is not only entertaining, but it also effectively tickles the reader’s mind to learn more about recent Irish history.
The Bleeding Hills
The story you are about to read is based solely on the author’s imagination. Names, locations and events are fictional and do not depict any living person or real event in the past or present. Any references to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and British Intelligence services, as well as references to recent history are entirely based on the author’s research.
Chapter 1 – The Place I Grew A Man
Chapter 2 – Life Held No Print Or Plan
Chapter 3 – Those Lads Who Laughed With Me
Chapter 4 – When The Hills Were Bleeding
Chapter 5 – To Praise Them While I Can
Chapter 6 – Peace Comes Over Me
The Boys of Barr na Sráide
by Sigorson Clifford
O the town it climbs the mountain and looks upon the sea
And sleeping time or waking time ’tis there I long to be
To walk again that kindly street, the place I grew a man
With the boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren
With cudgels stout we roamed about to hunt for the dreoilín.
We searched for birds in every furze from Letter to Dooneen
We sang for joy beneath the sky; life held no print or plan
And we boys in Barr na Sráide went hunting for the wren
And when the hills were bleeding and the rifles were aflame
To the rebel homes of Kerry those Saxon strangers came
But the men who dared the Auxies and who fought the Black and Tans
Were the boys in Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren
So here’s a toast to them tonight, those lads who laughed with me
By the groves of Carhan River or the slopes of Beenatee
John Dawley and Batt Andy and the Sheehans Con and Dan
And the boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren
But now they toil on foreign soil where they have gone their way
Deep in the heart of London town or over in Broadway
And I am left to sing their deeds and to praise them while I can
Those boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren
And when the wheel of life runs down and when peace comes over me
O lay me down in that old town between the hills and sea
I’ll take my sleep in those green fields the place my life began
Where the boys of Barr na Sráide went hunting for the wren
The Bleeding Hills
By Wilfried F. Voss
Copperhill Media Corporation
158 Log Plain Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Copyright © 2009 by Copperhill Media Corporation, Greenfield, Massachusetts
For information about the author, a history of this book’s writing, references, and records of future publications, log on to the author’s blog at http://www.frogenyozurt.com.
Cover Design by Copperhill Media Corporation.
Original photo “Ireland Flag Concept” acquired through bigstockphoto.com.
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