Into Exile is set in the period of violence in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles. Sadie and Kevin, both 17 years old, have fallen in love across the religious divide of their native Belfast. Faced with disapproval from their surroundings, they decide to go into exile and build a new future.
About the author
Joan Lingard was brought up and lived in Belfast until the age of 18. She has used the conflict-torn capital of Northern Ireland as a setting in three of her most successful novels, The Twelfth Day of July, Across the Barricades, and Into Exile. This radio play is based on the novel Into Exile.
- What is the meaning of the word "exile"?
- What do you know about "The Troubles"?
- Discuss some of the consequences of marrying someone at the age of seventeen.
"Into Exile - Part One" as plain text
Into Exile, Part One
Narrator: Kevin McCoy went on his own to the 10 o'clock mass. As he left the church, the priest at the door smiled.
Mulcahy: Good morning. New to London, aren't you?
Kevin: I came over from Belfast three days ago, Father.
(Kevin is 17 and has a Belfast city accent. He is a quiet and thoughtful boy who carries his responsibilities with earnest considered care. Mulcahy is fifty and Irish too but from the Republic - he is a Cork man).
Mulcahy: Yes. I thought I hadn't seen you here before. Are you a student, ... er?
Kevin: Kevin. Kevin McCoy. No - I'm working on the building sites. For my sins.
Mulcahy: That'd be hard work and no mistake.
Kevin: Yes, Father. But it's only till I get something better. The wife was a student. Back home like. She's got a job in a dress shop.
Mulcahy: You seem on the young side to be married, Kevin.
Kevin: I know. Everybody says that.
Mulcahy: I'm sure you knew what you were doing. Your wife is not with you?
Kevin:She's a Protestant.
Mulchay: I see. In Northern Ireland you'd be expected to hate each other, not fall in love.
Kevin: Our parents were dead against it. The only way we could be together in peace was to come away, like.
Mulcahy: I see.
Kevin: We ran off and got married in Scotland, then came down here.
Mulcahy: What age is she?
Kevin: Seventeen. We both are. But we're really happy. Of course, we miss home, sometimes, but we're left in peace here. Sadie's her name.
Mulcahy: Sadie? That's a fine Irish name.
Kevin: Oh, she's Irish alright. She's got the red hair and the temper to go with it.
(They both laugh)
I'd better get back for my breakfast or there'll be trouble.
Sadie: At last! I was beginning to think you weren't coming back.
Kevin: Where did you think I'd go, then? Buckingham Palace? I brought your Sunday paper. What's the matter? You've been crying!
Sadie: I just get scared sometimes.
Kevin: There's nothing to be afraid of here, Sadie.
Sadie: I was worried about you. You said you'd be straight back.
Kevin: I was talking to the priest.
Sadie: I might have known.
Kevin: I told him I'd married a Prod and d'you know? He never blinked an eye. It's different over here alright.
Sadie: You needn't have told him our business. D'you fancy ham and eggs?
Kevin: I certainly would. I'm starved.
Sadie: Sit down, I'll get it for you. If you left me I don't know how I'd cope all alone in London. All I've done since you went is look out the window. It's not much of a view.
Kevin: I'd never leave you, Sadie.
Sadie: I know you wouldn't. Not on purpose, but. ..
Kevin: We're safe here. Nobody cares who we are or what we are in London.
Sadie: Don't I know it! Those girls in the pub last night? Move the paper while I lay the table. I wouldn't be seen dead in hot pants.
Kevin: You've good enough legs.
Sadie: (Pleased and embarrassed) Shut up!
Kevin: You have. You're a fine looking girl, Sadie.
(Newspaper opening as Kevin settles to read
Kevin: I see there have been more riots overnight. Falls Road and the Cromlin. The priest this morning called Northern Ireland "that poor unhappy land". He's right...
Sadie: My Dad says the only good priest is a dead priest.
Kevin: He's an intolerant idiot - just like mine. Never trust a Prod. That's what he says.
Sadie: They only say what their fathers said before them. The North was always a divided society. That's what Mr Smith, my form teacher, said before he got the sack for being too political.
Kevin: It's time people began to think for themselves.
Sadie: Why don't you?
Sadie: I don't go to church every Sunday. I don't see why you have to.
Kevin: I don't have to.
Sadie: You do. Your mother told you when you were a wee boy you had to. Your mother wouldn't like it if you didn't go ...
Kevin: That's not why I go.
Sadie: You told me yourself how upset she gets when you miss Mass.
Kevin: I know but. ..
Sadie: You're as brainwashed as the rest.
Kevin: I'd hardly have got involved with you if I was.
Sadie: Okay - you're not the worst of them.
Kevin: I feel better if I go - that's all.
Sadie: (Recedes and laughs)
Kevin: What are you laughing at?
Sadie: Me. Cooking you ham and eggs. I'm doing what my old rna used to do - 'cause it's Sunday.
Kevin: D'you miss Belfast?
Sadie: We'll get used to London. The main thing is we're together with nobody to call us names or threaten us.
Kevin: I wish we could at least visit now and then. See our families. Brede said in her letter that Ma wasn't too good.
Sadie: You told me.
Kevin: Hey, look! The sun's breaking through. It's going to be a nice day. What d'you say we explore London?
Sadie: Pretend we're tourists, you mean?
Kevin: Why not?
Sadie: I have to get our work clothes ready for the morning.
Kevin: We can do all that tonight.
Sadie: Alright! You're on. You're not a bad lad, Kevin McCoy.
Narrator: Sadie was glad to be out. She hated their small dingy room at the top of that dirty old house. The day they moved in she'd bought a bright red rug and two yellow mugs to brighten it up. But it was still a dismal little room with torn curtains and faded wallpaper. Sadie looked at Kevin's kind, strong face. Whatever else, she didn't regret marrying him. It was this city she hated. It was too big - too unfrindly, after the small familiar streets of Belfast.
That afternoon in the park, the sun shone and they sat listening to the band. Later they had an ice cream and lay on the warm grass dreaming that one day they'd have enough money to buy a big, posh house in Kensington. It was evening when the time came to return to reality.
Sadie: Come on slow-coach! I'll race you up the stairs.
Kevin: You're on! I was 100 metre champion of St Joseph's Junior, so I was.
Sadie: 100 cemtimetres is more like it.
(They laugh as they approach the door but
stop suddenly as they see something is wrong)
Sadie: That's funny - the door's open. I thought we'd locked it. Oh my God.
(Breaks off horrified)
Kevin: Oh no!
Sadie: How did they know, Kevin? They must have followed us here. (Cries)
Kevin: Shush! This has nothing to do with Belfast. We've just had a visit from a burglar. It's a break-in - it could happen to anyone.
Sadie: (Looking around the room,frantically) Turned everything upside down. My rug! It's gone. And all my records! I want to go home. Let's go back to Belfast and take our chances.
(Sadie weeps bitterly and Kevin holds and tries to comfort her)
Kevin: It's only things. It's not important. We'll replace them. Sadie, we're alright. We've got each other, that's the most important thing.
Sadie: I just want to go home.
Kevin: We'll talk about it in the morning. Let's clear up this mess.
Narrator: They slept badly that night. In the morning, Sadie discovered more things that had been stolen.
Sadie: What'll Miss Cullen say at the dress shop when I turn up for work in jeans?
Kevin: It's lucky we weren't out swimming. You'd have to have gone in your swimsuit.
(Sadie and Kevin manage to laugh but it is an effort)
At least they never took my old radio.
Sadie: Are you surprised? Look at the state of it.
Kevin: I just want to hear the news.
Reader: (Distort) .. . were on the streets, and rubber bullets were fired. Several youths were arrested.
Kevin: Guess where she's talking about?
1st radio newsreader: Also in Belfast last
(Radio switched off)
Kevin: We can't go back.
Sadie: I know. Come on or we' ll be late for work.
(Interior of a busy transport cafe in London)
Craig: Here, I got you a tea.
Kevin: Let me pay you.
Craig: It's on me, son. Cheers. Is that all you're eating? A cheese roll?
Kevin: Forgot my sandwiches from home - bit of a rush this morning - one way and the other. So what's this news?
Craig: (Eating) It's not good. The boss says we only need five lads next week.
Kevin: Five labourers? (Realisation) Oh. You
Craig: Sorry, Kevin. You finish on Friday.
Kevin: Not my week obviously.
2nd radio newsreader: Over night in Belfast 13 people were killed and thirty other people were injured, four of them seriously, in bomb blasts, house burnings and sporadic violent incidents between security forces and stone throwing demonstrators. The night of violence began when a car bomb went off.
Craig: At least you're well out of that lot.
Kevin: Yeah. I worry about my family back there, though, every time I hear the news.
Craig: Cheer up! A strong lad like you will soon find another labouring job.
Kevin: I'm not sure I want to.
Sadie: We've got money in the bank. And my money from the dress shop is enough to pay the rent. Will you stop mucking about with that old radio and listen.
Kevin: I am listening. There - I fixed it.
(Click of radio switched on)
Kevin: I've got to go out tonight, Sadie.
Sadie: Out where?
Kevin: Just out. I have to see someone.
Sadie: We never used to have secrets.
Kevin: I'll not be long, I promise.
Sadie: Be as long as you like. (Angrily) Only don't expect to see me when you get back.
(Sadie opens the wardrobe door and searches
through/or her coat)
Sadie: I can go out too, you know.
Kevin: Sadie ...
Sadie: You don't think I'll sit in here waiting for my lord and master to return, do you?
Kevin: Sadie, will you listen ...
Sadie: Excuse me ... I want to get my coat.
Kevin: I said I'd not be long. (Grabbing her) Where'll you go? You don't know anybody here.
Sadie: That's what you think.
Kevin: I'm only going to see Father Mulcahy.
Sadie: The girls at the shop are going out tonight for a drink. If I go now I'll catch them at Piccadilly Circus.
Kevin: Sadie, wait. ..
Sadie: If you'd rather spend the evening with your precious priest than me - you go right ahead!!
Kevin: Sadie! (Door opens and slams) Sadie!
(Priest's house; writing an address)
Mulcahy: Whether it'll pay as much as labouring on the building sites, now, Kevin, I don't know.
Kevin: That doesn't worry me, Father, if I can learn a trade.
Mulcahy: (Hands him the note) There's his number. He's expecting you to ring.
Kevin: Oh, thanks Father. I really appreciate this.
Mulcahy: Not at all. When Mr Davies said he was looking for a bright young lad to learn the TV repair business - you came
immediately to mind. You live in Brant Road, right?
Mulcahy: Sure it's only a walk to his shop from there.
Kevin: Thanks again.
Mulcahy: How's young Sadie? You know, Kevin, I'd like to meet her one of these days.
Kevin: I don't think that'd be a very good idea. She doesn't like priests.
Mulcahy: (Amused) How many has she known?
Kevin: (Smiles back) None.
Mulcahy: D'you think she'd ever come round with you one evening? Just for a chat?
Kevin: I could ask her. But I don't hold out much hope.
Mulcahy: We'll just have to see then, won't we? Good luck with Mr Davies, now, Kevin.
Sadie: I have to be going, Rita.
Rita: What? The night's just getting started. Look at those two groovy guys who've just come in! Cooey!
Sadie: What're you doing? Are you mad? Stop it!
Rita: We're not going to spend the whole evening on our own.
Sadie: I'm married, Rita.
Rita: More fool you! You must be mad at seventeen .. .
Sadie: If you don't stop waving - oh no, they're coming over!
Rita: I know them. The good-looking one's called Joe. His friend's Henry. They're great fun.
Joe: Ah, lovely Rita meter maid! How's your luck, doll?
Rita: Swinging! Hi Henry! Like the suit.
Joe: And this must be Sadie.
Sadie: I'm just going, actually. I have to get home.
Joe: Doesn't your mother know you're out, love?
Rita: It's not her mother she's worried about, is it Sadie?
Joe: Cor, Henry. Look - she's got a ring on her finger.
Sadie: I'm married, if you must know.
Joe: Cor, you must have been a child bride, eh?
Rita: She's working with us at the shop.
Sadie: Bye, Rita. Kevin'll be home by now.
Joe: It's Friday night. Forget your husband. What are you drinking, ladies?
Rita: Mine's a Malibu and bitter lemon. Sadie's on half pint shandies.
Joe: Coming right up.
Sadie: No thanks. (To Rita) I'll see you tomorrow at work.
Rita: Have just one and Joe'll drive you back.
Sadie: No, it's alright, really.
Joe: See you around. You're a nice looking girl.
Narrator: Sadie felt embarrassed as Joe's shouts followed her out of the pub. She rushed through the theatre crowds towards the tube. It was well past ten. Suddenly she felt a hand on her arm.
Joe: (Cheerfully) Hello again. Listen - give me your phone number. Maybe we could ...
Sadie: Maybe we could nothing. What're you doing following me?
Joe: Let me drive you home.
Sadie: No thanks. My husband's meeting me at the tube.
Joe: I'll wait with you till he comes.
Sadie: Please go. He's a ...
Joe: Alright. I'm going, Sadie. But you're a very pretty girl and I'll be in touch.
Sadie: Don't bother.
Narrator: When she got back to their room, the light was off. Sadie was glad Kevin had gone to bed. She regretted going out with the girls from the shop now. She'd felt envious of their freedom, but now she realised she'd been silly and that what she had with Kevin was worth more than that.
(Sadie is creeping into the darkened room and getting her shoes off in the dark. It's after midnight. A chair falls over)
Kevin: It's alright, you can put the light on, I'm not asleep. (Yawns)
Sadie: Sorry. Boy am I glad to get home. It's freezing out there.
Kevin: What time is it?
Sadie: Late. I waited ages for a bus. I didn't want to risk the tube - not on my own.
Kevin: Enjoy yourself?
Sadie: No, I didn't. Not much. Why do we have these stupid rows?
Kevin: It was my fault. Not telling you where I was off to. Father Mulcahy said tonight you sounded like a very sensible girl and I agreed.
Sadie: So you go round there to discuss me, do you?
Kevin: Well, you're my favourite subject. Come here!
Sadie: Oh, Kevin. I love you.
Kevin: I'm bursting to tell you my good news.
Sadie: Good news?
Kevin: I've got a new job.
Sadie: That's great! Where abouts?
Kevin: At Davies Radios on the High Street. Father Mulcahy gave my name to Mr Davies, the owner. He's a nice old fellow. Wants me to start on Monday.
Sadie: Doing what?
Kevin: Repairing radios and TV's. He's got more work on than he can handle. He'll teach me the trade as we go along.
Sadie: How much is he paying?
Kevin: It's less than I was getting on the building site but I'm getting a free training. I can't believe my luck!
Sadie: I'm that pleased for you, Kevin, and I'm sorry for going out like that. I'll never do it again, I promise.
Kevin: Sure, I know it isn't easy for you. You gave up a lot when you took up with me. I don't blame you for getting a bit annoyed at times. Sadie: I've never regretted marrying you, Kevin.
Kevin: I'm glad to hear it, because ... well, according to Father Mulcahy ... we're not.
Sadie: Not what?
Kevin: Not married.
Mulcahy: And now may I congratulate you, Mr and Mrs McCoy?
Sadie: Is that it, then?
Kevin: I told you it was only a simple little ceremony. She was that worried, Father.
(Shaking hands) Thanks a lot, Father.
Mulcahy: Aren't you going to kiss your bride, Kevin?
(Sadie and Kevin kiss lightly. Sadie is still a little guarded being in a Catholic church. Mulcahy chuckles benignly as they do so)
Kevin: I'll see if the taxi's here.
Sadie: (Laughs) We're doing it in style this time. On our last wedding day we had to hitch hike.
(Kevin's footsteps recede and a church door closes with a hollow bang. There is a momentary pause)
Mulcahy: How are you feeling, Sadie?
Sadie: I don't feel any different, Father Mulcahy.
Mulcahy: Kevin does. That's important to you, isn't it? How he feels? He really loves you, you know.
Sadie: I know. (Sadie looks around) I used to think Catholic churches would be really scary inside.
Sadie: The way my Dad spoke, you know, about Catholis and their priests. "All that incense and holy picutres is the work of the devil."
Mulcahy: He can't have been very happy about you and Kevin.
Sadie: That's putting it mildly. Kevin's the first Catholic I've ever really known. I imagined the inside of the chapel would be like a sort of holy haunted house.
(Father Mulcahy laughs - Sadie has a laugh in her voice too)
I was nervous coming here, but it's not much different from the Protestant Church of Ireland really. A few more statues but. . . you
know, Father, it makes me wonder what all the fuss is about between you lot and us.
Mulcahy: Maybe it's not much to do with religion. People the world over seem to find reasons to hate each other.
Sadie: I'm still staying a Protestant, mind.
(Church door opens distant)
Kevin: Taxi's here. Thanks a lot again, Father.
Sadie: Yes, thanks.
Mulcahy: You're a smashing pair - I wish you every happiness. Go on now and enjoy yourselves.
(Shop atmosphere. John Lewis designer room)
Joe: Could I see your panties, please?
Sadie: We don't sell underwear here, sir - this is a dress department. (Recognising him) It's you. Rita's not here. It's her half day off.
Joe: I know.
Sadie: What d'you want?
Joe: I told you ...
Sadie: Look, stop fooling around. Do you want to get me into trouble?
Cullen: (Approach of head assistant) Is everything alright, sir? Can I help you?
Joe: Your assistant here is being very helpful.
Cullen: Good. (Quieter) I must go out for half an hour, Sadie. Will you be alright on your own?
Sadie: (Under her breath) Yes, I'll be fine, Miss Cullen.
Cullen: The young lady is here - whatever you want she will give you, sir.
Joe: Much obliged.
Sadie: I told you - Rita's not here. Can you please go away!
Joe: It's not her I want to see. I've been thinking of you all weekend. I just couldn't get your face out of my mind. Honest! I want to take you away from all this. Show you a good time.
Sadie: I told you I'm married.
Joe: So what? You were out on your own the other night.
Sadie: I've been married again since then.
Sadie: You're wasting your time.
Sadie: Kevin? What is it? What's happened?
Kevin: Read this!
(Rustle of telegram)
Sadie: A telegram? Oh no.
Kevin: You know it's happening. You hear it on the radio. See it in the papers. People are being killed over there all the time. But you still don't think it'll happen to you.
Sadie: Your Dad. Oh Kevin, I'm sorry. Have you rung? What happened?
Kevin: (Speaking with difficulty) A bomb in the pub. No warning. Nothing. Dad was one of 15. If I could get my hands on the ... Oh
Jeese, what am I going to do, Sadie?
Sadie: Your mother' ll need you.
Kevin: And the kids. Brede's really upset. It's not fair expecting her to ...
Sadie: You've got to go over.
Kevin: Yeah. Maybe I could get the night boat. It's better if I go on my own.
Sadie: I think so.
Kevin: Will you be alright for a few days?
Sadie: Of course.
Kevin: I'll get back as soon as I can.
Narrator: Sadie went with Kevin to Euston Station and saw him onto the boat train. They didn't say much, but hugged tightly before parting at the barrier. Sadie somehow knew, as Kevin walked down the platform and out of sight, that things were not going to be quite as simple as he had said. She even wondered if their life together would ever be the same again.
"Into Exile - Part Two" as plain text
Into Exile, Part Two
Narrator: Dawn broke grey and misty as the ferry steamed up into Belfast Lough. Kevin saw the green lands of Antrim and Down on
either side. He was home again! His hatred of the night before had passed. It was replaced by a dull acceptance and a growing sense of anxiety as he wondered how his mother was. She was not in the best of health.
(Interior small terrace house in Belfast)
Mother: He said he wouldn't be long. He went out about nine. You know, he never was much of a drinker, Kevin.
Kevin: He was not, Ma.
Mother : Well, we heard the noise of it going off in here. We were watching TV. We never thought much of it - you get used to the
sound of bombs, don't you? The RUC man came to the door - it must have been just after 10. And Brede was here. Thank God. They'd found his wallet in the wreckage ... burnt at the edges it was. They'd got his address from his driving licence.
Kevin: How's Brede taking it?
Mother: Oh, she's a wonderfully strong girl.
Since you went, she's had to be. You haven't met Seamus yet? They want to get engaged. Your Dad liked him. Nice boy.
Kevin: Engaged? I'm looking forward to seeing her.
Mother: Well, she'll be home for her dinner after twelve. She's been great since you left. What I'd have done without her I don't know, Kevin, I swear, I don't.
Kevin: I'm sorry I wasn't here.
Mother: You've come home now.
Kevin: Yes. But I'm not home for good.
Mother: I don't know what the world's coming to. I'm frightened sometimes this business'll kill us all.
Kevin: I think I'll take a walk - is there anything you want from the shops, Ma?
Mother: No, Brede's bringing what I need. Where are you going? You be careful.
Kevin: Don't worry. Just along to the river and back.
Mother: I'm sure there's plenty round here remember you married a Protestant.
Kevin: I was wondering when you'd ask after Sadie.
Mother: Did she come with you?
Kevin: No. I left her in London. We thought it best.
Mother: Oh, don't be long. I've stew for dinner.
Kevin: Don't worry, Ma. I'll be careful.
Narrator: As he walked through the familiar streets of Belfast, Kevin McCoy felt as though he had never been away. Perhaps he'd been more homesick than he'd realised. It felt really good seeing all the old places and the faces he had grown up with. People assumed that he had realised his mistake and had come back
(In the dress shop)
Rita: Any word of when he's coming home?
Sadie: No. It's not easy for him. His family need him.
Rita: I'd have thought you'd come before his family now.
Sadie: You don't understand, Rita.
Rita: I'll say I don't. Especially getting married at 17. Alright, I'll shut up. - What're you doing tonight?
Sadie: Same as every night. Cook something. Eat it. Wash up. Listen to the radio. My life's packed full of fun.
Rita: You've had nearly two weeks of sitting in looking at the four walls. Why don't you come out with the gang tonight?
Sadie: I can't.
Rita: We're going to the Whisky A Gogo in Soho. It'll be a laugh.
Sadie: Is your friend Joe going?
Sadie: No. I can't.
Rita: He's dead keen on you, you know. He's always talking about how pretty you are and how he really fancies you.
Sadie: Well, I'm not keen on him. If he's coming, I'd prefer to sit alone in the bedsit.
Rita: What've you got against him?
Sadie: Nothing. But I'm married and he won't take no for an answer.
Rita: Hello, a customer. Good morning, can I help you?
Sadie: (Effort as she hangs skirts and mutters to herself) If only you'd give me a hint about when you'd be back, Kevin McCoy.
Joe: Hello! Starting talking to yourself now?
Sadie: You! You always turn up like a bad penny, don't you?
Joe: That's a nice welcome to someone who's taking you out tonight, I must say. Tadaa! Flowers.
Sadie: How did you know I like roses?
Joe: You've got taste. Listen, I had a lucky day at the races yesterday, and I'm paying for a big Chinese meal tonight, so don't eat anything between now and eight, right?
Sadie: Why're you doing this, Joe?
Joe: Why am I doing what?
Sadie: You know.
Joe: No, I don't. Look Sadie, I want to be your friend, okay? What's wrong with that? Don't you think Kevin will be eating with friends over in Belfast? Eh? Where's the harm?
Sadie: Take your flowers and give them to someone else. And if I want a Chinese meal, I'll buy my own.
Joe: You're so ... ah, well, think about what I said. See you tonight, Rita?
Rita: Bye, Joe. She only comes in to look, that old dear, she never buys a ... what's the matter?
Sadie: Oh Rita! What am I to do?
Rita: This is all Kevin's fault. Come out with us tonight. Let Joe buy you a meal. Who's to know?
Sadie: I would.
Rita: I think you're being too hard on yourself. Quick, quick, dry your eyes and look busy! Cullen's just parking her car.
Sadie: Dear Kevin, Got your letter. Thanks. You ask for news.
There's not much. Last Friday a few of the girls were going out for a Chinese meal, so I went too. I hope you don't mind. I have been without you for three weeks. When are you coming back?
Kevin: Dear Sadie, Of course you must go out and enjoy yourself.
I understand that. Was Rita's funny friend Joe with you, I wonder? Brede has been wonderful looking after Ma. She is engaged to this really nice fellow from Tyrone - I think there will be another wedding in the McCoy family before long. There were more riots and shootings last night and a bomb went off at McTurk's bar. Your husband, Kevin.
P.S. I saw Kate Murphy in the street, and she asked me to send you her love. Poor Kate, she's had a rough time of it. She seems very cheerful all the same.
(Sadie's room. Angry crumpling up of letter)
Sadie: Kate again. Joe's right. The old girl friends are closing in. She's a Catholic too - like him. Sends her love indeed.
Sadie: Who's there?
Mulcahy: It's me, Father Mulcahy. Can I see you a minute Sadie?
Sadie: Kevin's not here. He's still away in Belfast.
Mulcahy: Have you had any word from him when he'll be coming back?
Sadie: Come away in, Father.
Mulcahy: Thanks, Sadie.
Sadie: Sorry about the state of the place. I was meaning to tidy up a bit, but. ..
Mulcahy: How're you coping on your own?
Sadie: Sit down. Would you like a cup of coffee or something?
Mulcahy: Only if you're having one yourself?
Sadie: Why not? I'll put the kettle on.
Mulcahy: So how are you keeping?
Sadie: Fine. You know. Who am I fooling? It's not been too good. I don't know what he's up to over there. A week he said.
Mulcahy: I'm sure he will be back as soon as he's able, Sadie.
Sadie: Will he? I don't know. My friends at work say I'm daft to put up with it. Oh, you didn't come to hear my moaning I'm sure.
Mulcahy: It's about Kevin's job. Mr Davies was asking me if I'd heard anything, that's why I came round. He's very busy in the shop and needs Kevin back. Or if not, some other assistant, I'm trying to get him to keep Kevin's job open, but. ..
Sadie: Here's the last letter I had from him. I've just been reading it again. It came over a week ago.
Mulcahy: I wouldn't like you to think I was prying. Your letters are private I'm sure.
Sadie: Once maybe. Read away, Father. There is nothing personal in it. I used to get letters like this from penpals in England. (Bitter laugh) Kevin's become my penpal, that 's it!
Mulcahy: Sadie, I'm sorry. You sit down and let me make the coffee. Whatever's happened?
Sadie: I don't know. I honestly don't know. When he left we were in love, and now he writes like we're strangers.
(Quiet pub - London)
Sadie: Are you trying to get me drunk?
Joe: You could drink me under the table, girl. I know all about you Irish. Heard from Kevin?
Sadie: I thought you were taking me out to forget my troubles, Joe. Let's forget about Kevin and Ireland.
Joe: Suits me.
Sadie: Just for tonight, eh?
Joe: Here's looking at you, kid.
Sadie: Cheers! Now what will we talk about? What's this I hear about the Beatles getting back together?
Joe: What's this I hear about you moving in with Rita?
Sadie: I can't afford the bedsit in Brant Road.
Joe: It'll be good for you to share with Rita. She's always game for a laugh.
Sadie: That's all you care about, isn't it? Having a good time and a laugh?
Joe: You only live once, kid. This is all there is. One life. You have to get every bit of fun out of it if you can.
Sadie: Maybe you're right Joe. Let's see if you can drink me under the table. Same again, barman!
(Mother's house in Belfast)
Brede: Well? What did you think of him?
Kevin: (Teasing) Who?
Brede: Oh, don't kid around, Kevin. Ma says you liked him.
Kevin: He seems a decent fella. For a farmer's son.
Brede: He is. We'd planned to marry in June. Of course I can't marry him. Not now.
Kevin: Why not?
Brede: How can I go off to live in Tyrone and leave mother here on her own? Her heart isn't good. Dad knew. That's why he'd hardly ever go out of an evening. The night he was killed he'd only gone out for half an hour.
Kevin: What're you saying, Brede?
Brede: I'm saying I have to look after Mother now that Dad is gone.
Kevin: But that's not fair.
Brede: Fair or not - that's it. Seamus's father wants us to live on the farm. It's a lovely cottage. Away from all this.
Kevin: You can't sacrifice yourself like this.
Brede: Ma sacrificed herself for us. Quiet, she's coming back. The little ones must be settled for the night.
Kevin: I'm here now. I'll take responsibility for Ma.
Brede: But what about Sadie - back in London?
Kevin: Leave that to me.
* * *
Mulcahy: Sadie? Is that you, child?
Sadie: Hello, Father. You don't mind me sitting in here, do you?
Mulcahy: Course not, Sadie. Is something wrong?
Sadie: I just came to say goodbye.
Mulcahy: You're going back to Ireland to be with Kevin?
Sadie: I don't think he wants me anymore. He hasn't written for three weeks.
(Distant riots as heard from inside mother's
house in the Bogside, Belfast)
Mother: Burning houses it looks like.
Kevin: Come away from the window, Ma.
Mother: It's like the end of the world. (Gasp of pain) Ah!
Brede: Ma! Quick, Kevin, get hold of her.
Mother: Oh, it's ... my tablets are there on the table.
Brede: I'll get them.
Kevin: Don't try to speak, Ma. Brede's getting your tablets.
Mother: Oh, it hurts me. It'll be the death of me. That's what your Dad used to say. It'll be the death of us both, I'm thinking.
Mulcahy: Kevin is a very good boy - he is looking after his family.
Sadie: And me? What about me? Aren't I his wife?
Mulcahy: I'm sure he must feel as though he's being pulled apart.
Sadie: If only I knew what was going on. His mother always hated me. She'll be poisoning his mind against me. He sounds so cold in his letters - when he can be bothered to write one.
Mulcahy: If he's anything like I was at 17, he' ll not be much good at writing letters.
Sadie: It feels like it's over - Kevin and me.
Mulcahy: You're confused - both of you. Remember one thing, Sadie. You married for better or worse.
Sadie: You sound like a priest.
Mulcahy: I am a priest!
Sadie: I know. It's just the worse is worse than I could've imagined.
Kevin: I brought you some grapes.
Mother: Oh, thanks, son. That's her, the nurse I was telling you about over there. A sweet smile, hasn't she? Oh, I'm a right old nuisance.
Kevin: Listen Ma. You can't live on your own in Belfast. Not now. I've had a chat with Seamus last night. He thinks his dad might be willing to let you have a farm cottage near where he and Brede will be living after their marriage. It'd mean a home in the country for you and the little ones.
Mother: You mean it? Oh glory be, that'd answer my prayers.
Kevin: Well, it's not settled yet, but I'm going to see Seamus's Dad today.
Mother: You're a good boy, Kevin.
Kevin: I'm glad you think so, Ma. Now you rest and get well again.
(Farmyard in Ireland)
O'Brien: You must be Kevin. Seamus told me you were a big fellow.
Kevin: Pleased to meet you, Mr O'Brien. It's a fine place you have here.
O'Brien: I'll show you round, then we can have a nice cup of tea. Seamus says your Ma's getting better.
Kevin: It was a close thing. We need to get her out of Belfast.
O'Brien: Have you worked on a farm before, Kevin?
Kevin: What are you talking about? I'm not here looking for a job.
O'Brien: What are you here for then? If you'll excuse my bluntness.
Kevin: Seamus said you'd a cottage that Ma and the little ones could have.
O'Brien: I have. But it's a worker's cottage.
Kevin: We'll pay you rent.
O'Brien: Oh, it's not a question of rent.
Kevin: You thought I'd work on the farm?
O'Brien: Seamus must have thought you understood - your Ma can have the cottage, Kevin, but only if you are working for me.
Kevin: I see.
O'Brien: Can I be frank with you, Kevin?
O'Brien: I need a good reliable man. You strike me as the responsible type. Give me a good day's work, and I'll pay you fair and give your mother a safe place away from the danger and the bad memories. Now, what do you say?
Kevin: You really want me to work for you?
O'Brien: Sure, what more could you want? Look around you. Green rolling hills. Peace and security.
Kevin: I have a problem, Mr O'Brien. I have a Protestant wife waiting for me in London.
O'Brien: Well, I'll tell you. I play cards every Wednesday night. Around that table we are a mixed bunch - people's religion is their
business as far as I'm concerned. Sure the priest is there sometimes with Wilson, my Protestant neighbour. Your wife would be welcome, Kevin. More than welcome.
* * *
Mother: Why don't you come right out with it, Kevin. I know why you won't agree to us going to live on that farm in Tyrone - it's
because you're still hoping she'll come back to you. Your little Protestant.
Kevin: Don't call her that!
Mother: Well, it's what she is, isn't it?
Brede: Ma, don't!
Mother: Your Dad was heartbroken when the pair of you ran away.
Kevin: Please, Ma. I just need time to consider.
Brede: Sadie could come and live on the farm with us.
Kevin: Brede, I don't think that would work.
Mother: Well, if she does, then I won't. I won't live under the same roof with her.
Brede: If Sadie'll agree to coming back to Ireland, then all our troubles will be over. Eh, Kevin?
Kevin: Like I say, I'll have to think about it.
Mother: Where are you going? We're just going to eat.
Brede: You ask a lot of him, Ma. If Kevin agrees to work for Seamus' father, then I think you should welcome Sadie into our family.
Mother: One Protestant living with all us Catholics? I wish her joy of it.
(Father Mulcahy's study)
Mulcahy: Sure County Tyrone is a pretty place.
Sadie: A bus to town two times a week! Imagine it! That's what he says in his letter. I couldn't stand it. I'd be stuck out there with his family. All those McCoys.
Mulcahy: All those Catholics, do you mean? You of all people, Sadie, eh? Tell me, do you want to be with Kevin?
Sadie: You know I do. I've waited for him three months.
Mulcahy: Good. Now, it can't have been easy for him to write the letter. He's asking you to do something difficult - the question is... do you love him enough to do it?
Sadie: No, the question is, why hasn't he said he loves me? Does he really want me there?
Mother: Oh, it's you Kevin - I was just having a lie down.
Kevin: How're you feeling?
Mother: Oh, not too good.
Kevin: I've had a letter from Sadie, Ma.
Kevin: She isn't coming. She's staying in London. It's all over if I don't go back.
Mother: Well, that's up to her. What're you looking like that for? Now, you're not saying you are going to ruin Brede and Seamus's chances, are you, by crawling back to her. No, you can't.
Kevin: You're getting that cottage in Tyrone, don't you worry, Ma. Soon as you're well enough to move.
(Living room - door closes)
Brede: Have you told her?
Kevin: I couldn ' t.
Brede: Kevin, your place is with your wife. Sure Ma will be fine. Mr O'Brien is well content to let them have the cottage next to ours now he knows all the facts.
Kevin: He's a good man, and you're a good big sister. I'll send you money to pay her upkeep from London.
Brede: Take my advice and go on the night boat. You've time. I'll explain to Ma.
Kevin: Will you, Brede? I can't wait to see Sadie's face when I walk in the front door tomorrow morning.
Brede: What you and Sadie have is very precious.
Kevin: I can't live without her, Brede.
Brede: Pack a bag. I'll get the door.
Kevin: I'd better go. Just in case ...
Brede: Nonsense. Go on, now!
(Distant door open. Silence)
Kevin: Brede? Who is it?
(There is no reply except for a brief and distant word of surprise from Brede)
Kevin: Brede? Oh my god, no!
(Kevin runs in panic to the door)
Sadie: Hello, Kevin.
Sadie: Did you get my letter? No, don't say a word. I was mad when I wrote it. Look, I'll come to County Tyrone - I'll come anywhere to be with you!
Kevin: Oh, I was just coming to London to be with you. I was just packing.
Sadie: Oh, I love you.
Mother: What's going on? - Oh.
Kevin: Ma, this is my wife. Sadie, meet Ma.
Narrator: Kevin saw his mother's cold welcome to Sadie. He knew it would be impossible for her to live with them. Early next
morning they were leaving Ireland together once more. Where they would end up, they didn't know. But wherever it was, they would
be together, and they hoped it would be a peaceful place of their own.