The Ghost of Omagh

Essay by JackStilesA+, August 2009

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From the depths of the sky, my view is unintelligible. Some say angels live up here amongst the clouds. But why would they want to? Much more interesting things go on down below! As I draw closer to the realm of men, I see the nations, brimming with tiny souls full of big ambitions. Just like them I once was, centuries ago. But now, I am nothing but a ghost. A mere spirit persistent in my observation of the miseries, tragedies, triumphs and scandals of mankind; with tastes some might call voyeuristic. The seasons may change and the centuries pass, but in all my surveillance mankind remains the same. He lives and breathes, fights and strives, kills and dies. Sometimes he lives in cities, other times in towns. One of these towns he lives in is known to me as Omagh. From far away, the town resembles a tiny ink blot upon the parchment of Ireland.

Closer to the ground, this blemish becomes recognisable as roads and houses and people scurrying about like ants. Cars and dogs, trees and pubs, shops and feet menace the ground for a few modest miles. Some of these cars carry people; one carries a bomb. In the very heart of this vibrant country town, I see smoke curling up in wisps from the street, mingled with cries, sirens and fear. The weather is cold, the coldness of death. But then it usually is cold in Ireland. On this chilly Irish day I see from afar a boy, a young man. His face is plain and friendly, sporting the nonexistent tan of a good Irishman. His height is average; a little taller than his father’s. His hair dark, thick and straight. His eyes are deep and shadowy, just like his mother’s. His smile is wide...