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Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘I’ve never seen Sorcha so upset - and given my record as a husband, that’s a genuine achievement’

‘Our daughter ... is the SUV Avenger!’ she goes – as if saying it over and over again is going to help her understand it better.

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I’ve never seen Sorcha so upset? And given my record as a husband, that’s a genuine achievement. She’s literally shaking with rage and whatever else is bubbling inside her, which is the reason I’m staying on the other side of the kitchen island.

“Our daughter ... is the SUV Avenger!” she goes – as if saying it over and over again is going to help her understand it better. “Our daughter ... is the SUV Avenger!”

Honor’s there, “You’re such a focking drama queen,” having clearly decided that attack is the best form of defence. “You belong in the R&R.”

Sorcha’s like, “I’ll never be able to show my face in Dalkey again.”


“Or Mount Merrion,” Honor goes, because – yeah, no – she was arrested on Cedarmount Road with a screwdriver in her hand and a trail of Range Rovers, Jeep Grand Cherokee jeeps and BMW X5s with burst tyres in her wake.

I’m there, “I honestly think you’re possibly overreacting. As in, a week ago, you thought the SUV Avenger was a hero.”

Sorcha goes, “I’m focking well aware of that, Ross.”

I’m there, “You wrote an opinion piece in The Irish Times saying that the world owed whoever was responsible a debt of gratitude.”

“That’s before I knew it was my own daughter,” she goes.

Honor’s there, “Oh my God, you’re such a focking hypocrite.”

“People are going to think I knew it was Honor when I wrote that orticle,” Sorcha goes.

I’m there, “No, they won’t,” even though they will. They so, so focking will.

The doorbell rings. Sorcha goes, “That’ll be Hennessy,” and I have to admit that I suddenly stort to breathe a little easier now that I know he’s on the case.

I’m there, “I’ll get the door,” and I go outside to answer it.

Hennessy does not look happy to see me. He just goes, “This focking family,” and borges past me, giving me a seriously hord shoulder nudge that would pass for a tackle in the mind of Owen Farrell and his employers in the RFU.

“Hennessy!” Sorcha goes, practically curtsying to the dude. “Thank you so much for coming!”

Hennessy doesn’t say a word to her. He just fixes Honor with a look and goes, “It was you, huh?”

Honor’s there, “Yeah,” and then she shrugs. “So focking what?”

He’s like, “I just wanted to hear it from the mouth of the person who burst the four tyres of my Lexus outside Elm Pork Golf Club.”

“Obviously, we’re mortified,” Sorcha goes. “And we’ll pay for any damage, won’t we, Ross?”

I keep my mouth shut, not committing myself either way. It’s a trick that Hennessy actually taught me, and for a second I think I see him flash a look of pride at me.

He goes, “So you knew when you wrote that op-ed for The Irish Times that you were writing about your daughter?”

Sorcha’s there, “Oh my God, no way, Hennessy. If I’d known it was Honor, I never would have said those things. I would have said the exact opposite.”

Hennessy’s like, “Just so you know, absolutely nobody is going to believe that.”

Sorcha goes, “I’ll obviously ask them to take it down from the website.”

He’s there, “Don’t do that. You’ve got to double-down now.”

“In terms of?” Sorcha goes.

He’s like, “We’ve got to make out that your daughter was motivated by a genuine concern for the environment and the source of that concern was you. We have to persuade the court that her mother’s fear for the future of the planet caused her so much anxiety that she was possessed by a type of temporary madness that caused her to do the things she did.”

Sorcha goes, “What are the chances of–”

Hennessy’s like, “What?’

Sorcha’s there, “Well,” looking suddenly shifty, “the chorges being dropped and the whole thing being swept under the corpet.”

I was going to ask the same thing.

“None whatsoever,” Hennessy goes.

Honor’s there, “I probably should mention that I didn’t do it out of concern for the environment. I did it for a laugh.”

Hennessy turns on her then. He goes, “Do you want to end up in Oberstown?”

Me, Honor and Sorcha all stare at each other, just the sound of the word striking fear into us all. At the same time, the three of us go, “What’s Oberstown?”

Hennessy’s like, “Oberstown is a juvenile prison.”

“Oh my God!” Sorcha goes. “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!”

I can see from Honor’s face that she’s suddenly worried too.

I’m there, “Dude, people like us don’t go to prison. What does that paperweight on your desk say? A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the judge?”

Sorcha goes, “Hennessy, it’s not like she’s killed someone.”

Hennessy laughs, like he can’t believe her – I want to say – naivety?

Hennessy’s there, “The law was never intended to protect people. It was intended to protect private property rights.”

“Fine,” Honor goes, “I’ll go full Greta in the courtroom.”

Sorcha’s there, “And obviously we’ll reimburse people for any damage that Honor caused.”

I’m like, “Steady on, Sorcha,” because 200 cors multiplied by four tyres at, say, 200 snots per tyre adds up to, well, you do the math. “I wouldn’t go volunteering that kind of thing. You pay for a brand-new set of tyres and the next thing they’re telling you that your daughter damaged their gearbox or their fan belt has sounded rattly since the incident. People take the piss. They’re notorious for it.”

Hennessy goes, “For once, your idiot husband is right.”

Sorcha’s there, “Hennessy, what are the chance of, well, I don’t know quite how to put this–”

“Keeping your names out of the paper?” Hennessy goes.

Sorcha’s there, “Well, yes, that’s exactly what I was wondering. I wouldn’t like if they found out about this in Mount Anville.”

I’m like, “Yeah, no, especially as she did 30 or 40 grand’s worth of damage in the cor pork.”

“She’s a juvenile,” Hennessy goes, “so she can’t be identified in the media. But you know how these things work. Her name is going to be all over the internet.”

Sorcha’s there, “Oh! My literally! God!”

Hennessy goes, “I suggest you all go away for a few weeks until this thing blows over.”

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly was captain of the Castlerock College team that won the Leinster Schools Senior Cup in 1999. It’s rare that a day goes by when he doesn’t mention it