Authors: Paul Carson
Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Mystery & Detective, #Crime
Tom Morgan resigned from the Central Maternity Hospital and left the country. The
tracked him down to a small country town in Western Australia and ran a tabloid style exclusive: STUD MORGAN'S PLACE IN THE SUN.
Luke Conway continued as Master of the great Central Maternity Hospital and did see it safely into its two hundredth birthday celebrations. He made sure the two vacant posts in the staff were filled by female consultants, breaking the male-dominated tradition for the first time.
Sam Collins recovered from his injuries in time to be sentenced, along with Peggy Ryan, to a twenty-year gaol stretch for their part in the kidnapping of Gordon O'Brien. As he handed down the sentence the trial judge saved most of his condemnation for Ryan. She barely heard a word he said, spending most of the time talking to herself.
Tommy Malone's funeral was attended by a small number of fellow criminals and he was buried in a little known graveyard in north county Dublin. No one erected a headstone.
The body of Dean Lynch lay unclaimed in the city morgue for almost two months before the state ordered its cremation. Noel Dunne scattered the ashes into the foaming seas off Howth Head one stormy April evening. He was watched by Jack McGrath and the two retired afterwards to a nearby
pub where they drank the best part of a half bottle of Jamesons 1790 whiskey between them.
June Morrison returned to work in the Central Maternity Hospital in May and was appointed Matron six weeks later.
Kate Hamilton left the Garda Siochana after a series of relapses in her recovery. The
ran a story in July: MURDER COP'S ROMANCE, accompanied by two photographs. One showed Hamilton strolling arm in arm with Paddy Holland in Dublin's Herbert Park. The second caught Rory chasing after a small dog.
Gordon Henry Donal O'Brien was christened in September in the big church on Roundwood main street. June Morrison and Theo Dempsey were the godparents. It was a wonderfully warm and sunny day and the village looked at its best. Hanging baskets still carried late-flowering blooms and the tubs and troughs in the street were filled with plants and shrubs. At the family's request the media stayed outside the church railings and in return for their cooperation Big Harry promised a fifteen-minute photo-call after the ceremony.
As the cold water was poured along his brow, Gordon O'Brien's arms and legs threshed in protest and he cried forcefully. June Morrison listened and smiled.
Outside, in the sunshine, film crews from national and international networks waited patiently to record the occasion, while the newsprint photographers, as usual, fought with each other for the best shots. While they waited one or two shot off a roll of film catching the early browning of the surrounding trees, the first fall of leaves blowing gently in the breeze across the gravel in front of the church door.
Just before the congregation left in a fleet of limousines for the celebratory lunch in Beechill, Harry and Sandra O'Brien posed for the cameras. The image was flashed around the world that evening. It showed a big, grey curly haired man impeccably dressed in a dark navy pin-striped
suit, white shirt and red tie with a white kerchief flowing from his breast pocket. He had one arm resting proudly on the shoulder of his beautiful young wife. She was wearing a cream-coloured Irish lace two-piece trouser suit set off with wide brimmed hat. In her right arm she cradled a baby, wrapped in a shawl with only a tiny wisp of hair showing above the lace. The baby was wide awake and smiling up at his mother.
'Show us the baby, Sandra, show us the baby,' one of the photographers shouted.
Big Harry pulled the lace shawl down from his son's face while Sandra moved him into both her arms and turned so that the lenses of the world could get a better view.
Gordon O'Brien stared at the cluster of cameras now trained on him, fascinated by the whirring of their shutters. As his head moved from side to side the photographers and cameramen captured a bonny looking baby with wispy dark hair, long dark eyelashes and deep blue eyes. His skin was healthy and pink, his eyes bright and alert.
He looked content.
He was in his mother's arms and he knew her touch, sensed her smell, heard her voice. All the shouting and roaring, all the curses and anger had ceased. All the pain and hunger and cold and misery had gone.
'Come on, Gordon,' a voice yelled. 'Give us a smile.'
Gordon O'Brien smiled to the world.