Tommy Guns –


At the station, the Guard said: ‘What do you want the gun for?’

‘We’re doing a Play, and there’s a gun in it.’

‘What’s it about?’

‘The Play?’


‘It’s about the curse on the Mayo team.’

‘Ok, you’ll need a licence.’

‘How’ll we get that?’

‘Take this and call down to Tommy Guns.”

‘Who’s Tommy Guns?’

‘Runs the gun shop in town. And his name is Tommy. So we call him Tommy Guns.’

‘Will he be there?’

‘He’s always there. Never leaves the place.’

Tommy wasn’t there. Paddy was. He was working on putting some worms into a Tupperware box.  He said: ‘Tommy’s not here. I’m Paddy. I can help you. What kind of a gun are you looking for?’

It was a place that also did fishing tackle, camouflage clothes and lots of pen knives.   I looked at the form, it said: ‘Simpson – Decommisioned.’

‘Hang on, I’ll get the paperwork.’ He said.

He went upstairs. Made a lot of noise.

I checked out some Leatherman knives and camping equipment while I waited.

Then he came back. Breathing heavy.  Metallica T-shirt. Too small. Jeans too loose.

Right, he said, show me what you have there.

I gave it to him. He read it, asked: ‘ Where will the gun be stored?’

‘In my house.’

‘Where’s the house?’

‘Across the road.’

‘Is that in County Galway?”



‘Definitely. You can see it out the window.’

‘Ok. I’ll take your word for it. Last fella I trusted took a gun and robbed a Topaz in Tipperary.’


‘Oh stop, made a pure prick out of me. I’m trying to help Tommy run a professional outfit here like and the likes of him coming in and ruining it for everyone…’

‘Did they catch him?’

‘They did.’


‘He had stole a load of Scratchcards and won €50 and tried to cash it in Rosscrea. And sure they caught him on the camera then.’

‘Was he local?’

‘One of them Polish lads from Slovakia.’


‘What’s the Play about?’

‘The curse on the Mayo team.’

‘Is that true?’

‘It is in the Play anyway. Dunno about anywhere else.’

‘I might go and see that. Any free tickets?’

‘I’ll comp ya if you gimme a discount on the gun.’

‘Will ya fuck?’

‘I fuckin will.

‘Sound,  herself loves all that shite. We better get you this licence so. What’s your own name?’


‘Spell Mick.’

‘Spell Mick?’

‘Yeah, spell it.’

‘Like M-I-C-K?’

‘Thanks. ‘What kind of gun did you say?’


‘Spell Simpson.’


‘Slow down, slow down, for fuck sake. S….?’





It went on like that until we got to the end of Simpson. Another customer came in. Wanted some worms. Paddy obliged with the Tupperware box from earlier. Then he turned to me  and asked: ‘Ok, when do you want it for?’


Monday he said  and spelled out- M-U-N-D-E-Y – then asked: ‘And when are you bringing it back?’


Sunday, he said, and spelled out S-O-N-D-E-Y.

Ok, he said, haven’t done this much writing since sixth class. Sooner Tommy comes back the better.

‘Sure it’s all paperwork now.’

‘Gone ta fuck sure. This is like writing an Essay.’

‘Are we nearly finished?’

‘One last thing.’

‘What’s that?’

‘What’s the name of the Play? Nothin too fancy now I hope. My hand is sore from writing.’

‘Do you really need the name?’

‘Yeah. Can’t give you the licence without it.’

‘Do you want me to write if for you?’

‘No you’re grand. I’m in the zone now. What is it? Come on, I’ve worms to finish.’

‘Ok, you ready?’


‘Ok, it’s called – Shortcut to Hallelujah – ”

Ok, he sighed, spell Shortcut….





Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.










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