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Rake at the gates of Hell: A eulogy for Daniel Gerald Monaghan


Here’s the story of one.

On one of many 23rd of Junes a long time ago, I met this man, on this particular night. It was Michael Conway who proudly introduced the two of us in a crowded, sweat soaked, pub - the Port o’ Leith in Edinburgh.

Moriarty’s wife was the maiden at the helm that night, holding down the tempest that life is.

Lee Marvin was on the juke box.

“This is Gerry Monaghan,” he said.

“He fell from a great height.”

Something shifted in the way of things, a crack appeared and in all the darkness and stinking insanity I saw the raw heart of a lion.

“I didn’t fall.” He Baritoned. “I jumped!”

And right there, in that moment, I met one of the most monumental persons I’ve ever had good fortune to.

The next ten years was my wild ride. It was like being stranded in the jungle. It was beautiful. Rock and fucking Roll. Bach. Beethoven. Brahms. Mozart; Mahler; Wordsworth, Shakespeare, and yes! Yeats. And Kipling too!

He would often recite If.

“You’ll be a man, my son.” He said.

He was absolute, pure, anarchy.

It was wonderful to be amazed by him.

So what else?

Daniel Gerald Monaghan you trusted me, nor before nor since. Thank you for you.

He was sixty-two when I met him. And he convinced me even then that he was a comet. And, when he died, he would still come round every sixty-two years.

It was wonderful to be loved by him.

Let the juke box play.

Lord, Lord, Lord.

Let the juke box play.

Let it play for our friend Gerry, who took a taxi, on that last weekend of June in 2022.

And never came back.

On the day of his funeral, held at Warriston Crematorium on July 28th 2022, I decided I would go to Inchcolm Abbey on Inchcolm Island for the service.

And, appropriately, a song by Frankie Miller, The Rock came to mind. So I wrote this reimagining of it.

As dedication to a very dear friend and any others we lost, or will lose, in 2022

I took a ride on The Maid of Forth

From South Queensferry Bay

I took a walk on a rock

Yes! It still stands today

And I thought of all the men

Who couldn’t conform to society

I saw Gerry Monaghan

Standing on The Rock

I saw Gerry

Yes, I saw Gerry,

Standing on The Rock

I saw my friend standing on The Rock

Goodbye Gerry - 30th June 2022

“I’ll see you in the mating season.” ■

Kriss’s picture of the Abbey, and Gerry Moynihan



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