Celtic Illumination, part 18, Shaolin monks, Vulcan mind control and Dumbledore
I don’t really want to dwell on my time at Violent Hell. Like the Dali Lama I had been ripped from my parents and was being educated by men of God. Also like the Shaolin monks, they taught hand to hand combat, even if you didn’t want to learn. We were also trained in escape and evasion techniques. I mentioned before that in our school chapel was the throne known as that of the Bishop of Down and Connor. The reason for this was that his house was in the school grounds. He was like a sort of Dumbledore, providing an outer ring of protection to the school and myself the future King of Ireland. I suppose I was like an Irish Harry Potter.
One of the tests of bravery was to go to the garage on the Newry to Lurgan Road and buy cigarettes and cans of lemonade shandy for the big boys. To be successful you would have to cross the Bishop’s lawns, which were guarded by two fierce dogs. Many a poor boy failed however my training was so good that the dogs never caught me.
As a prospective Master Candle Maker my most important tools would be my hands, so like Caine or even Bruce Lee, who would jab their hands into heated cauldrons of sand, we toughened our hands by having the priests thrash us with bamboo sticks. Sometimes, to make the training more effective and realistic, the priests would attack and beat us with reinforced leather straps in case you had an effective method of resistance against bamboo canes. Many boys tried to use Vulcan mind control methods but without the proper training they were quite ineffective.
But an equally tough test would be to fight with the British Army. Occasionally someone would phone in a bomb warning and the army people would turn up, mob handed. There would be the bomb disposal men but there would also be a huge guard to protect them. Of course when the soldiers had finished their searching and would be preparing to leave the school grounds they would shudder, for standing in their way, would be the future Master Candle Maker, the future King of Ireland, in short trousers.