Friday, May 22, 2020

the last book I ever read (Patrick Radden Keefe's Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, excerpt five)

from Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe:

On Wednesday, after they had all checked into their hotels, members of the team did reconnaissance of the locations. “You don’t know each other,” Price told them. “You’ve never seen each other before when you meet each other on the street.” She added, emphatically, that there should be “no drink involved.” Before sundown, Price assembled everyone in the portico of the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, to finalize arrangements and to hand out plane tickets for the following day.

Then they had the night off. You might suppose that on the even of a coordinated terrorist strike on a major city, the participants would devote the final hours to anxious preparation. But on account of their youth, perhaps, or the almost hallucinatory fever of their own righteousness, Price and her compatriots seemed eerily detached from the gravity and potential consequences of the mission they were about to undertake. Besides, they were in London, a city more vast and freewheeling than their own. The heart of empire it may have been, but London was also, indisputably, a fun place to visit. So the young terrorists went sightseeing. Roisin McNearney paid a visit to Buckingham Palace. Some of the men defied Price’s admonition and went out and got drunk, so drunk that one of them would later have to be carried out of the pub.

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