You'll all know by now that we live on a lane which leads nowhere in particular...it isn't pretty countryside really...just small scrubby fields with surrounding stone walls and farmers eeking out a living from buying and selling cattle. We have deep ditches filled with primroses and violets and later there will be the pretty yellow wild irises...or flags. Then swathes of creamy Queen Ann's lace and Meadow sweet and deep red Valerian...

There are interesting places too...the old wooden roadway set down in the Iron Age called a togher...the ring forts and the great stone fort and oddities like the remains of the ice-house belonging to Costello who drank and whored all his money away...there are a couple of lime kilns in a ruinous state and the ancient corn mill on the little river of which just a few great slabs of stone remain.

Not many people live here in our street...the old Bishops fishing cottage is gradually being swamped by head high growths of Japanese KnotWeed...Willies little cottage is empty now as is Annies...there are seven families remaining from a once crowded and busy townland with a railway station and two forges and the lime kiln...all active and up and running. Now there is just us and our neighbours...

We are all quiet people who keep ourselves to ourselves pretty much most of the time...the women work, apart from Lorna, Breege and myself...the men tend their cattle and mend fences and grumble about getting in enough hay for the winter and when Tom's bull escapes we all rally round and go look for him. If Johnnie is away at a wedding then Himself checks on his cows and calves for him...if next door that side go on holidays we'll walk past every now and then to see all is well...

So days may pass when all we see of the next door people is when they are out in their yard or going past in a tractor to a distant field...but when something happens which means we need to rally round...then that is precisely what we all do. We close ranks if you like and act as a close knit group...it might be something simple like the day when all Michael's sheep raced hell for leather down towards the main road...or the time when our donkeys managed to get out of Georgina's field and headed off to Gerry's place where he breeds hot blood horses worth loadsofmoney...

When it finally dawned on us that the car parked down near the river had been there a number of days and perhaps we ought do something...and we did by letting the Guards know and then no-one complained in the very slightest about squelching through the riverbanks and hoping against hope that they wouldn't be the one who found a bloated body trapped in the reeds and we shook our heads and despaired and Frank who is the quietest person in the whole of Ireland went one side of the river and Marie who ought to have been at her work was the other side and the specialist search team came out and I was about to pick a bunch of daffodils to put on the bridge and now we discover it was some kind of a prank or a joke or a hoax.

We, who live here in our quiet little street in the middle of nowhere in particular leading to a vast open bog who live simple enough lives in a simple way...who rally round when it is needed and keep our counsel more often than not...we were made to look like bloody fools because we cared enough...

Those responsible were not to know that Tom's brother killed himself just a few years ago...they didn't know my so loved ex father-in-law drowned himself...they didn't stop to think. They didn't pause briefly to see Neville and Paddy...two elderly men who don't need to be witness to anything more dramatic than the last football match...they didn't see them on a bright sunny morning in April finding the car keys on top of the wheel and wondering whether or not to look inside for a suicide note...and comforting each other that the Guards would be here soon enough.

It could be that the people or person involved has some kind of mental problem...it could be they are oblivious to the distress they caused the people living here
perhaps they simply didn't stop to think...

I wish they had thought...I wish they'd thought about us with our quiet lives and our willingness to rally round those in apparent distress...I wish they'd seen the young Guards with their sombre faces...I wish they'd seen Frank on the verge of tears at the thought of a life which might be lost...I wish they'd watched as Marie in her spotless white runners fought her way through the muddy reeds...

It won't stop us of course. We'll still be there for each other and for strangers to our street...we'll continue to talk about it for a while, of course we will...but then the old bull will get out again and it'll rain and threaten the hay and there will be turf to be saved and Steve will bike past and Tracy will walk down the road with her old spaniel and we'll lean on the gate and chat while the fair weather midges dance above our heads and the first bats swoop...

We won't forget though.