British, Irish Republicans Share Awkward Moment of Solidarity

Dublin – As Queen Elizabeth II makes the first royal visit to Ireland in over one hundred years, British and Irish republicans clashed on O’Connell Street yesterday in an awkward moment of solidarity.

Witnesses said the encounter was quite accidental, but rapidly became a social quagmire from which neither party could easily extricate itself. As protesters released black balloons into the air and belted out rebel songs, a man with a distinctly English posture and bearing wandered into the assembled mass of fiery republicans, instantly causing a sudden delicate frostiness.

Huntington-Fauntleroy's orange skirt immediately made him stand out from the other republicans.

Huntington-Fauntleroy's orange skirt immediately made him stand out from the other republicans.

“Yes, quite right!” shouted the British republican Cedric Huntington-Fauntleroy, his clear English enunciation cutting through the thick mumbled accents of the crowd like a joke by Prince Philip at a convention for political correctness. “Down with the monarchy, I say!”

Huntington-Fauntleroy then adopted the classic Marquess of Queensbury pose and hit the air with a few left jabs followed by a right cross before looking around in satisfaction at his fellow air-punchers, who were slowly lowering their hands and backing away in confusion.

“Wha’ de fook…?” asked a gobsmacked Marty Delaney (43), leader of the protest, as the tricolour wrapped around his shoulders slid off to reveal a Manchester United jersey.

“Oh, haha, that’s it, my good man, don’t be afraid to turn the air blue, what?” shouted Huntington-Fauntleroy, hitting the bewildered air with a classical right hook. “Damn the Queen’s English – let us have the English of the common man, of republicanism!”

The crowd looked at each other uncertainly and then to Marty Delaney for some kind of guidance. “Are you sure you’re in de roight place?” asked Delaney.

Huntington-Fauntleroy has been a republican since he was blackballed by the royal polo club.

Huntington-Fauntleroy has been a republican since he was blackballed by the royal polo club.

“Oh, wouldn’t miss it!” said Huntington-Fauntleroy jauntily. “I had no idea such a gathering was afoot, but whoever wishes to protest the iniquitous privileges of those antiquated institutions, the monarchy and the aristocracy, has found a bosom companion in Cedric Huntington-Fauntleroy.”

“Rouse the rabble on, good fellow!” he shouted as the air turned still.

The awkward silence apparently stretched for a full minute, broken only by an occasional cough. One of the remaining black balloons deflated quietly on stage with a slow sighing gasp and many in the crowd fixed their attention on it until it was just a limp, wrinkled sack of latex.

Huntington-Fauntleroy himself became aware that his presence had yet again, and for reasons he never quite understood, caused the party to come grinding to a halt. But, in the classic British manner, having introduced himself he could not simply say goodbye without having made some kind of acceptable small talk, however excruciating for all concerned.

“And who are these chaps over here?” he asked, pointing to a group of protesters across the street. “Are they with us?”

Sadly, Éirígí (Arise) seemed unaware of the Swiftean irony of having a sit-down protest.

Sadly, Éirígí (Arise) seemed unaware of the Swiftean irony of having a sit-down protest.

Another awkward silence hung over them all like a tombstone seen from the bottom of an unfilled grave, before one lone voice finally answered from the back. “Dey’re de socialist republican democrats,” said a strong Dublin accent. “Deir name’s Éirígí. It means ‘Arise.’ Dey’re having a sit-down protest.”

“Hoho!” chortled Huntington-Fauntleroy. “What wit! Reminiscent of Swift and Wilde, eh? Éirígí!” he shouted across the street, gesturing for the sit-down protesters to stand up. “Éirígí, hahaha,” he guffawed, before realising that perhaps it wasn’t meant as a piece of Swiftean satire and the humour drained slowly from his face as the awkward silence descended once more like a black cloud of unending gloom.

Whole minutes passed with nothing but the sound of shuffling shoes to fill them. Then the Queen and Prince Philip drove by, waved to the deathly silent crowd, and disappeared round the corner.

“Well, must be off,” said Huntington-Fauntleroy, seeing his chance. He tipped his hat and scooted away, while the listless crowd dispersed slowly, knowing that nothing had changed, and that Ireland would never truly escape the frightfully well-mannered but socially awkward yoke of the British aristocracy.

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