I remember on my last visit to Dublin with Grandpa that there was a conversation he had with Grandma. He wanted to go into Dublin to see what he could do to help someone. Grandma was not keen and persuaded him not to go. He was talking about some unhappy soul. It didn’t make any sense to me at the time.
Years later, when Grandpa told me about his time in Ireland in the Civil War, he told me about an incident in Merrion Square. He had been recalled to Ireland after the treaty and was now in the Irish Army as opposed to being a gun running agent in Scotland. One night he was given a machine gun and taken to a building in Merrion Square. The building seems to have been some sort of office block.
I assumed the machine gun was a Thompson gun but he had already sent over a German Bergman sub machine gun but I suppose that’s unlikely. He was posted on the first floor at the end of a long corridor with doors to different offices. He was given the keys to the offices and ordered to keep the place locked down until relieved.
He made sure each office door was locked and then positioned himself in a chair at the end of the corridor. He sat there all night until about midnight he heard a noise. As he looked up he saw the door on the far away office open and then close. He shouted a challenge but got no reply. Then the next door opened and closed. You can imagine what he was thinking at this time. He had checked the offices and made sure the doors were locked and now the doors were opening and closing , getting closer to him each time.
He had been told that he was being placed there because of recent murders so he cocked the gun in readiness. He continued to challenge but no one replied and the doors were opening nearer now. Finally, in a bit of a panic I suppose, he sprayed the corridor with machine gun fire and ran out.
Now he realised he was in trouble for deserting his post. He headed back to the barracks and reported to the guard house. He reported what he had done and waited to be arrested for desertion. Instead he was told to go back to his billet. He was never questioned further about the incident. Later he heard that the soldier who had been on duty the night before had been taken to an asylum, having had a complete breakdown.
He was convinced there was an unhappy spirit in the building – the ghost of someone who was murdered there. He never got to the bottom of it.