Chapter 10 – A new suspect looms large
After five months, the Tolka Park serial killer still had not been apprehended and the press were having a field day. The Irish Times won the javelin and the shot putt while the man from the Roscommon Herald won the 4 x 400m relay on his own.
DI McBiscuit’s boss, Commissioner Salami was not a happy bunny. In fact he was not a bunny at all, as rabbits have little prospect of rising to any position of eminence in the Garda Siochana.
“Five months!” he yelled, pointing at his egg timer to emphasise the passage of time. “Three murders in five months and we don’t even have a suspect! The press are making us out to look like fools.”
McBiscuit shifted his dunce’s cap nervously. “But sir...” he began.
“I want the murderer behind bars by the end of November,” snapped the Commissioner. “Now, take off that suit and tie and put on these more casual clothes.”
“I’ve just received a dressing down from the Commissioner,” related McBiscuit later. “He says we have until the end of the League Season to find the murderer.”
The constable glanced at the suitcase, hidden in the darkness of the alcove. “L.E. Mentary couldn’t shed any light on the case then, sir?” he sympathised. McBiscuit merely snorted in reply. Then he sneezed.
“Stop that!” he told the constable, who was busy spraying himself with disinfectant. “Can’t a man snort and sneeze these days without people coming over all Howard Hughesy?”
“I’ve been leafing through the files, sir,” said the constable beneath his face mask. “There is one man who hates Shels more than anyone in the whole wide world. And he hasn’t even figured in our investigations yet.”
“Who is it? John Delaney? Bohs till I die? George O’Callaghan?”
“No, sir, even worse.” And he held up a large sinister photograph.
“Urrgghh! That’s horrible, constable. Put it away, immediately. Who is this fiendish ghoul?”
“More of a ghoulish fiend than a fiendish ghoul,” replied the constable. “His name’s Dolan. Pat Dolan.”
“My God! Has this man no morals?” exclaimed McBiscuit, reading the file closely. “He actually tried to pin the blame on a fine upstanding institution like the Post Office? What a cad!”
“Ten years ago, an eminent psychologist described him as a sad man who was perplexed by Shels,” nodded the constable. “Matters came to a head with a vicious attack on him at Tolka Park when he claimed his trousers got splashed with water. There were other incidents. He once tried to kick Owen Heary on the studs while the latter was taking a throw-in. And he nearly broke Pat Fenlon’s leg down in Turners Cross before a match.”
“And why has this man never come on the radar, constable? He seems like a prime suspect to me.”
“Probably too big to fit on the radar, sir. That and the fact that a rumour went around that he had become the coach of Argentinian side Boca Juniors and had left these shores for good.”
After McBiscuit had picked himself up off the floor and wiped the tears from his eyes, he said, “Hmm. Rather like a man leaving his clothes on the beach and pretending he’s committed suicide, eh?”
“Yes sir. We did in fact find his clothes off Bray Head being worn by a sartorial hump back whale. But we have reason to believe that he has changed his appearance radically. He is now the new slimline Pat Dolan, back to almost the same physique as in his playing days. And we believe he is still in the country. Rumour has it that his spirit still stalks the land waiting for vengeance on Shels.”
“Constable, I have lost every wristwatch I own. There is no time to lose. Watch the ports and airports. Watch the bus stops. I want this Dolan alive or dead, whichever is the better for questioning him.”
That night, thousands of “Wanted – dead or alive” posters were put up all across the country. Interpol were contacted as well as MI5, the CIA, Mossad and the Association of Nantucket Lighthouse keepers. Pat Dolan’s image flashed across television screens with the warning not to approach him, particularly if you happened to be carrying pies. Parents of traumatised children complained to RTE when images of him appeared before the watershed.
Alone in a darkened office, McBiscuit clasped the most recent photograph and spoke to it. “Where are you Dolan?” he snorted. Then he sneezed again.
“Will you ever use a tissue, McBiscuit?” came a sinister voice behind him.