Ward, a generous and humane man, said afterward, "My grandmother could have won the race on that horse." And then, like distant noises, since The Curragh meeting is a meeting of the populace, the fact that it was held in the shadow of civil war in Northern Ireland was as passionately discussed as the race. There was the inevitable man who recalled that people danced in Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. And it is true that just as Nijinsky finished, the first shots—as distinct from rocks and petrol bombs—were being loosed off in Belfast.
As the crowd of cars streamed away from The Curragh, a slow-up occurred on the Naas Road. What was causing he holdup? It was the fact that the President of the Republic of Ireland was proceeding leisurely homeward from the meeting, in a car of vintage appearance. Nobody had bothered to give him extra protection, or insist that he drive at top speed through a potentially perilous land. He had a motorcycle escort of two. Being myself in something of a hurry, I remarked to my driver that it was a pity we had just chanced to get behind the President.
Said he, "There's no protocol that says we can't pass him on the free roads of Ireland."
He put his foot down, and we shot past that strange old car and even stranger old man.