Wednesday, 12 July 2017

THE GLORIOUS 12TH



THE ABOVE PICTURE OF ME AS AN ORANGE MAN WAS TAKEN FOR FUN IN THE EARLY 1990'S AND WAS PUBLISHED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF A THEN BELFAST NEWSPAPER - THE SUNDAY NEWS - for which I was a columnist from 1986.

The orange sash had been given to me by an Orange Order friend - but its appearance in the Sunday newspaper caused an uproar.

I had a solicitor's letter from the Orange Order demanding the name of THE TRAITOR who had given A ROMAN PRIEST his sacred sash.

The picture appeared in the Sunday News with the headline: THE SASH A FATHER WORE - a take on the Orange song The Sash me Father Wore.


The late Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich used to sing The Sash as his party piece for fun.


Image result for cardinal o fiaich

It's very important in life to have a sense of humour. I have always had a sense of humour - indeed a mischievous sense of humour.

BUT ON A SERIOUS NOTE:

We must also acknowledge of course that the Orange Order and others were/are responsible for decades and centuries of hatred and killing in Northern Ireland. While many Republicans have blood on their hands - so do many Orangemen and Northern Protestants and Loyalists.

While we had a problem with confessional Catholicism in Ireland we had possibly an even bigger problem with extreme Protestantism in Northern Ireland.

Since the setting up of the Northern Ireland statelet in 1922 there was serious discrimination against Catholics in employment, housing etc. Northern Ireland was a "Protestant statelet for a Protestant people". The RUC was a "Protestant police force for a Protestant people".

I came to Northern Ireland in 1978 and had no experience whatsoever of sectarianism.

When I was sent to Larne in 1984 - an 87% Protestant and loyalist town, my house was attacked by two gunmen one evening. Fortunately, I was not there and that spared me.


Image result for loyalist Larne
LARNE

The next day the RUC came to my house and put bullet proof glass on all my windows and behind my doors. They also gave me a personal protection weapon - which thankfully I never had to use. 

When I went to Kilkeel as a curate in 1983 I was reprimanded by a Protestant man for walking on the "Protestant side" of the main street. In Kilkeel there was a Catholic side and a Protestant side to the street.



Image result for Loyalist kilkeel
KILKEEL


For my 18 months in Kilkel I insisted on walking on both sides of the street.

For my first few years in Larne I had my windows broken on the 11th July - bonfire night.


Image result for Loyalist bonfires


THINGS HAVE CHANGED:

This year I am 39 years in Northern Ireland - and I love living here.

For a start if I had been living in the Republic of Ireland at the time Cahal Daly sacked me I would have fared far more poorly. It helped me as a Catholic dissident to be living in a Protestant majority society. 

In my various battles with the Catholic Hierarchy I was poorly dealt with by Catholic judges, Garda and civil servants.


And things have changed greatly here in Northern Ireland. There is far less bigotry on display here these days.

I never thought that I would see such progress in my lifetime.

There are a small number of people on both the Catholic/Nationalist/Republican side and on the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist side keeping things going.

The vast majority in both communities want progress and peace. 

Both Southern and Northern Ireland need to become modern secular democracies where neither Roman Catholicism or Protestantism have any great influence. 

We are heading in the right direction.

We are well down the road.

We have some way to go.


But those of us who are not Protestant, Unionist or Loyalist still find The Glorious Twelfth uncomfortable.

We go on our holidays on the 12th or stay indoors. 

The Lambeg drums beating in our streets and neighbourhoods give us an unpleasant feeling. 





81 comments:

  1. Basically you were wearing a sash that rejoices in the deaths of millions of innocent Catholics. You are a real Christian.

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  2. Was brought up in a town only 10% Catholic. If you were to have friends they had to be - and were mostly -.Protestant friends. Coming up to 80 years of age the survivors are still friends, and good friends

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    1. I too was brought up on the outskirts of a village where we, as Catholics always felt that we were regarded as outsiders. Coming up towards the Twelfth, we as children rarely ventured outside to play as we were spat upon and chased by stone throwers. The dreadful thing was that it was accepted as the expected behaviour - the norm--even amongst our adults! They told us not to worry that it was "just because the blood was up in them because of the Twelfth week and that it was best to stay in and lie low"

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  3. You mentioned yesterday about all the Protestants who left the South after partition. They left, not because they were suffering discrimination (the first President of Ireland was a Protestant) but because they simply could not stomach living on equal terms with Irish Catholics. Many of them left because they were no longer top dogs and it sickened their happiness. Orangeism is about subjugation and supremacism. There is a strong tendency towards racism as is evident from some of this and other years slogans at bonfires. Institutionalised hatred and bigotry is not "culture".

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    1. The Southern Protestants also experienced Catholic bigotry.

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    2. Yes, and the most disgusting thing I saw last night was the image of Martin Mc Guinness RIP being burned beside the coffin image on the bonfire and the racist banner about the young Celtic footballer on it also. Very few Southerns realise the depth of the venom that comes unleashed around the 12th.

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    3. Mr McGuinness put many a Protestant in a coffin!

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    4. How dare you!

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    5. Anon: 13.03: How dare you cover up the foul, murderous deeds of McGuinness who did indeed put many an innocent person into early graves and what about the diappeared in which he played a pivotal role? You ought to get a reality check...

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    6. You obviously want to ignore the huge amount of effort, personal sacrifice and risk that Martin Mc Guinness put into the Peace Process and taking the armed struggle slowly but surely into a peaceful democratic process. Have you been out of N Ireland the last twenty years!

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  4. "The Glorious Twelfth" is the 12th August, the start of the shooting season for red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica), and to a lesser extent the ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) in Great Britain and Ireland.

    Today is just "The Twalfth".

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  5. Just listened to that clip about the Sash. Enniskillen, Aughrim and Dromore are mentioned - not many Catholics about the place there.

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  6. My mum was Catholic, brought up in Larne and born on 12th July. She could never understand why she couldn't play out on her birthday. My husband's grandma came from Larne and she was a member of the orange lodge. It doesn't matter a jot to us.

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    1. Good for you, Jane! It doesn't matter a jot to me either, the product of an English father and Irish mother.

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  7. What!!! Enniskillen is a very Catholic town with our beautiful St Michael's Church on the front of the main street in the centre of it.

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    1. Every Protestant town has a Catholic Church. Sure totally Unionist Dromore even has a Catholic Church (I think).

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    2. Where is the Catholic church in Ballinamallard?

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    3. Too small a place to have one. Asshole of nowhere, sure ask our Arlene as she lives not far from there.

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    4. Really? - - I thought Arlene lives near Brookeborough. That would be a half day trek to Mass!

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    5. Ballinamallard too small for a RC church? - - But obviously not too small to have a Methodist church on the main street and Church of Ireland and Presbyterian a stone's throw from it. There are also a few Gospel Halls nearby. (I think we'd best not try to pretend we know better than the locals...)

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    6. Ballinamallard sounds like a duck sanctuary perhaps it's why they have a Methodist, C of I and Presbyterian Church in such a small place. Can't think of anything worse.

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    7. Is Dromore where our Sir Jeffrey lives and goes to the Presbyterian Church there. I suppose that's how Unionist it gets. Did not Jeffrey become Enoch Powell's Election Agent in the early 80's. God, can't think of a worst place to live.

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    8. Arlene lives in Brookeborough - correct. Not far from old Lord Brookeborough's pile. I don't think 13.24 she will be trekking anywhere to Mass soon. It's more likely she will be trekking to the local chippy late evenings in her bullet proof range/land rover after her day at Stormont - fact.

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    9. Yes, you made me laugh with the "duck sanctuary" comment! I remember away back in the 1950s even the Ballinamallard toddlers were able to read and chant the local graffiti off the village wall. "Up Ballinamallard! - that never reared a Papist!"
      It was well enough drummed into them from an early age..

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    10. Yes, Ballinamallard has a lot of churches(but not RC obviously). In spite of its small size it also sports an Orange Hall and a Masonic Hall...Let's say it is not difficult to get a sense of the famous "cultural identity" we hear so much about!

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    11. Local late chip shops in Brookeborough! - Ha ha - - Well that will have to be the old Station Road Takeaway then? (Good luck with that one, Arlene, but maybe Brian has kept your dinner in the oven..!)

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    12. (Sadie on the sofa) I'm doing tomato soup and new spuds in it today -

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  8. T ofee may have sung many a song
    Wasn't he involved in re routing Fr Mc Ginnity to cover up a maynooth scandal.
    Nothing to be proud of writing about his humour ???????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Indeed the treatment of Father McGinnity was an utter disgrace and Tomas allowed himself to be part of it.

      Tomas did not have the balls to stand up to others like Casey who wanted McGinnity's scalp.

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    2. O Fiaich may have had his faults but he was the best Armagh Archbishop and Cardinal I ever knew from a personal point of view. Although he was referred to as the ' IRA Cardinal' mainly because of where he was reared. Just look at his successors, the 'red hatted weasel' Cahal Daly, 'the wounded healer' Brady and now ' I've wet my panties mammy' Martin - God help us. There is no comparison whatsoever and the Archdiocese of Armagh has gone to the dogs since the day of O' Fiaich mainly because it's the same old faces still controlling and running the show.

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    3. O'Fiaich was Judas Iscariot to Fr McGinnity's Christ.

      O'Fiaich betrayed McGinnity. Unlike Iscariot's case, no payment was required here: O'Fiaich did it for absolutely nothing.

      Beneath the bonhomie, O'Fiaich was a truly odious and cowardly man.

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    4. ARMAGH

      Who are the old faces running the show in Armagh?

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    5. True, Magna Carta, Cardinal O'Faich definitely failed badly in relation to Fr McGinnity - but "a truly odious and cowardly man"???? Really?

      Typical of you that the poor man is totally written off and damned because of this failure. All the other good of his life counts for nothing.

      When it comes to "odious and cowardly", MC, go and look in the mirror.

      Thankfully, most people remember Tomas more kindly and mercifully than you. I'm sure not even Gerry McGinnity would take the view of him that you do.

      Some of us believe that his untimely death was accelerated by his horror at what was beginning to be revealed about the scandalous antics of the likes of Ledwith - a man he implicitly trusted.

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    6. Judas Iscariot is not remembered kindly either, but I'm hopeful there was some good in him; but he is not remembered for it if there was.

      Unfortunately (or fortunately?), it is human nature to allow serious moral misconduct (such as O'Fiaich's toward McGinnity) both to define and to damn (in a manner of speaking) a person's memory. Is this wrong? Are the gospels wrong to have omitted any mention of good in Iscariot?

      I suspect that Gerry McGinnity would be more benign in his view of O'Fiaich, but not,for this reason, totally honest.

      As for your opinion of me, I care as much for that as you do of my opinion of O'Fiaich.

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    7. Ignore and starve this troll of any attention. Stop feeding him, that's all he wants.

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    8. 'Stop feeding him, that's all he wants.'? You may want to rephrase this, once you awaken to its illogic.

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  9. Did you know him personally Magna? If not then shut up!

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    1. While I deplore his cowardice over Father McGinnity I would prefer him to Conway, Daly, Brady or Amy.

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    2. 12:57, your rush to O'Fiaich's defence here is shrill, unconvincing and, frankly, revealing about you. You know, don't you, that O'Fiaich's treatment of Fr McGinnity was utterly despicable and a nauseating example of gross moral cowardice, just like Iscariot's?

      You clearly idolized the man, which is why you are refusing to see this truth about him. Sad, really.

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    3. So was Casey involved in the Maynooth scandal ?

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    4. Casey was supporting Ledwith. He also wanted McGinnitys scalp.

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    5. 13.16 Magna as I've stated before if you didn't know the man then shut up because if you didn't know him you are not qualified to speak such calumny about him. We know what the beatitudes say about that. You talk about being a reformed character on here, reformed my arse.

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    6. I knew and liked O'Fiaich.

      But he behaved disgracefully in the McGinnity case. Fact!

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    7. 14:17, I didn't know the man personally, any more than I knew Judas Iscariot personally. But I know their deeds, and I know that both deeds were despicable and odious betrayals of good men.

      I hope your posterior is well reformed.

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    8. No I didn't "idolise" him, MC. "Shrill"? Coming from you? You really have no idea do you? You are quite incapable of fairness and balance. Go and take a wee course in self-criticism or something would you? For your own sake as well as everyone else's.

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  10. All the old Canons advising behind the scenes in Armagh and the Deans too. All listened to and heeded, some of the old vanguard have died but a lot of the old dinosaurs are left and have Eamon's ear. The same old gobshites that advised Brady and look where that got him. The same old geriatrics that told Brady to stick to his guns, remain and stay, don't step down and don't let the ba---rds get you down Sean. Well that helped him a lot in the end.

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    1. I totally object to your false accusation that all the "old Canons and Deans" of Armagh are questionable. They are all Holy men who have served their parishes and the diocese well. Sour grapes?

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  11. None of them are to be commended, pat, have a titter of wit
    Yes Magna is correct
    Fee sold Fr Mc Ginnity down the river all in the name of a cover up to protect the holier than thou people.

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  12. Pat to say he wasn't as bad as....is so wrong
    He covered up...end off

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  13. Who care what town is what
    We are all here to serve god
    Religion is of no importance
    Behaving in a civilised and Christian manner to all our neighbours is what is important.

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  14. Sorry pat, what u saying is that u had a rougher deal than Fr Mc Ginnity.
    No No

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    1. I'm not saying that at all.
      We were both "sacked" unjustifiably.

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  15. Ok Pat, but you had a stronger personality.
    Fr mc Ginnity suffered mentally for a long time.
    Does anyone think that perhaps Casey thought Ledwith was innocent then?

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    1. Yes, God gave me a strength that Father McGinnity did not have.

      Daly told people in 1986 that I would be gone in 6 weeks.

      That was 31 years ago.

      His vulnerability drove him into the hands of the House of Prayer woman.

      He is owed a MASSIVE apology by his church.

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  16. Tomas O' Fiaich protected Fr X - fact. His advisers were no better, some still alive, Canon McEntegart, Dean McLarnon, Canon Clyne, Canon Mgr O'Byrne, Curry and others .... Some of the old club survive and have Eamon's ear. That's the difficulty. His precious Deans also run to him with gossip. Armagh is toxic, Eamon is weak and totally out of his depth.

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  17. I just wished I knew who the f^^k Fr X is? He needs to be outed and in my mind castrated.

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    1. If O'Fiaich protected this priest (and it wouldn't surprise me if he did), then the so-called 'Fr X' must be at least in his early fifties.

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    2. This blog has truly descended into a slurry pit. Pat, as author is deeply misguided, Mag the bag is falling back into his backside, his mind becoming deranged. Others are relying on gossip, pouring smears and defamotory remarks against the living and the dead. There is nothing uplifting or intelligently inspiring on this blog. Pat, you have gathered a small vicious, nasty, vindictive cohort around you. And, sadly, you seem to have hypnotised them with your vile nonsense. You call yourself "Christian" - your daily behaviour is a travesty of that name!

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    3. My read is that Fr X is a bit younger than early 50's. I wonder was he at the Field today with his toy boy?

      The man who really is "protecting" Fr X, of course, is his friend, Pat Buckley. If it was any other priest he would have been "outed" by PB ages ago.

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    4. 18.11 Do you realise you so sound like an Armagh Cleric with a lot to lose. Does the mention of your sad diocese cause you to act so bitterly against the truth. Maybe you are hurt that your name has been mentioned or someone who is a close associate of yours. Fancy, maybe you're upset because it's too close to the bone.

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    5. Fr X is south of the border and not north. He is still with his very young DUP babe. They like Shopping at M&S Sprucefield and nearby McDonalds. The young thing goes into shop empty handed and comes out with many shopping bags.

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    6. Anon: at 19.21. You are so far from the truth of my situation. Don't live in the North, am not a malcontent cleric and have no baggage. Just think this blog no longer deserves the title "thinking catholicism". It is neither thinking or CATHOLIC - and your empty words prove my point....sorry to disappoint you....

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  18. I think some contributors want to elicit responses' from Magna Carter that will serve to reinforce their negative view of him. Magna can you not see that you are being set up to fail?

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    1. I take your point. But what do you want me to do? Contribute nothing at all? This would please those trolls more than anything?

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    2. Magna at 18.05. What we want you to do is find something good and positive tosay. Alternatively, you could employ your "talents" to helping others who truly require compassion and empathy and a little kibdness, not thev trollopy contributions you make here. They are profoundly useless....Life is too short and precious to be perpetually looking for failures in others. Why agitate your inner spirit with so much vitriol and angst. This blog might indeed be bad for your health....And we were beginning to think you had found your humanity!!!!

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    3. Oh! My talents are real. As real as your cynicism.

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  19. Yes, but perhaps Magna will remember the nice posters who did their best to encourage him to steer clear of controversy. There was one yesterday and some others a few days ago.... If he does, then he will know when to step back with dignity and not be provoked..

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    1. Yes, I do remember them, with gratitude.

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  20. Magna at 18:35 - I am one of them - as a woman - you did so well for a while there.are you a clergyman yourself?

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    1. Thank you for your kindness.

      I think you can answer your own question without any explicit help from me.

      I'm sorry for the cloak-and-dagger approach, but I have good reason for it.

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  21. You have friends, Magna...

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  22. The blog has been quite boring of late. We can but hope those outrageous queens at Maynooth are back to their old tricks and we can look forward to the re-appearance of grave scandal soon.

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  23. Wish posters would leave Magna alone
    He hasn't posted anything derogatory today...only the truth as he sees it
    Just back off and stop criticising him.thought that Pat was disallowing personal attacks ????
    Laughable that a poster thinks ofee died because he got a shock about ledwith
    He died from a heart attack, many do everyday.
    We are all supposed to look after our weight, take exercise etc

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  24. 16:31
    Does this Fr. X exist???

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  25. And if he does, how has he managed to remain in his position for so long??

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  26. Magna 23:44
    Well Magna it would seem you have some groupies. You are noticed after all! That incredible loneliness may be a little more tolerable knowing you have people who do think kindly of you.


    Da
    somewhat

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