Alec Casemond, built like a bull, short and square, now in his mid-thirties and matured from four years in the War, drove carefully.
He had already crossed, with difficulty, a damaged bridge. One side wall, blown away by a mine, revealed below in a swirling river, an almost submerged army lorry. There remained of the bridge barely enough for a donkey cart to pass over. Slowly and in silence he manoeuvred the car across what seemed an interminable distance. His wife Meli had been free to walk, but eight-year-old Robin, lying helplessly on the back seat, with a broken leg, could but trust in him. Alec’s relief in successfully negotiating this gruesome reminder of his country’s plight gave him new energy and courage.
In that early summer of 1920 the political storm clouds had gathered around Ireland. The dream of Independence, for which the blood of seven centuries had so often flowed, appeared as elusive and remote as ever. Promises, half promises and innuendoes evaporated, leaving first disillusionment, then bitterness and now open and active hostility.