It was a beautiful summer’s day. A weekend volunteer at the museum, I dutifully patrolled the upstairs galleries, watching from the windows as the tour guide led the people towards the first stop, the graves of Roger Casement and the Mountjoy Ten, and thinking that it would be quiet until they came back.
However, voices drifted up the stairs; not those of tourists, but of resident historian Shane MacThomáis together with a camera operator and veteran actor Jer O’Leary, who was dressed in Edwardian garb. They set up in the Prospect Gallery while I peeked in from the adjoining Milestone Gallery, Jer O’Leary standing in front of the wonderful cemetery view to be filmed. He declaimed and roared, while Shane stood and watched with evident enjoyment. Puzzled, I guessed that the filming was for a Bloomsday event until I distinguished the words of Jim Larkin – “the great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise”. I listened, occasionally glancing through the door as I paced up and down.
After about half an hour there was silence, and then applause; Shane, laughing, was congratulating Jer warmly. They packed up and left, and I went on patrol again.
Just another day; bringing history to life. Rest in peace, Shane.