© By Ciaran Carson

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They had questioned him for hours. Who exactly was he? And when
he told them, they questioned him again. When they accepted who he was, as
Someone not involved, they pulled out his fingernails. Then
They took him to a waste ground somewhere near the Horseshow Bend, and told him
What he was. They shot him nine times.

A dark umbilicus of smoke was rising from a heap of burning tyres.
The bad smell he smelt was the smell of himself. Broken glass and knotted Durex.
The knuckles of a face in a nylon stocking. I used to see him in the Gladstone Bar,
drawing pints for strangers, his almost-perfect fingers flecked with scum.

© Ciaran Carson, Campaign, 1987, complete text, The Irish for No, 1987, The Gallery Press.

Ciaran Carson reflects on one of the victims of the many sectarian murders by Loyalists of randomly chosen Catholics.

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