And the IRA campaign in Britain was intense in the West Midlands at that time. I learned to play the button accordion in lessons I took at the Kerryman’s Club, which was a big gathering point for the Irish in Coventry. The only tune I ever really learned off by heart was Roddy McCorley, also sometimes called Sean South of Garryowen. I only played the tune, and the words weren’t sung. The original words of Roddy McCorley were replaced by those of the new version Sean South, in memory of an IRA volunteer of that name who was killed in a clash with the RUC during the IRA’s unsuccessful 1957 border campaign. I am sure I must have played that tune for at least a couple of MI5 agents who had to have been in attendance at the Kerryman’s Club in those years, if they were doing their job.

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