of happy domesticity and was therefore the most fitting choice for awoman of certain years. Emily Sweeney, Ralph’s wife, replied that in1978 it was high time women could choose top hats if they wished to. Itwas a moonless night. Beyond the picture window of the lounge was theshuttered countryside, the stony fields and ragged walls of Connemara,the narrow-buckled road that led to the village. The hissing of the turffire intruded on the silence. Some moments passed. Éadaoin cleared histhroat and, winking at Ralph, placed the top hat on the board in frontof her. In the dark depth of the hat there was a pleasing glint of silver.Later in the game she regretted placing a hotel on the Old Kent Roadand asked the bank, which was Ralph Sweeney, for a refund. The bankrefused. She stated that it was still her turn and that a refund was withinthe rules. Ralph replied that if everybody changed their minds like that,if everybody was so indecisive, the game would go on all night. She leftthe table without a word and went into the kitchen and poured herself alarge glass of wine. After some minutes Emily Sweeney, hostess, came inand asked her if she would like to rejoin the game. She could not answer.Emily Sweeney saw something in her face that made her declare breezily,a little too loudly, that she was also tired of stupid Monopoly. She joinedher at the kitchen table and together they finished the bottle of wine.Emily Sweeney, it was well known, was a Monopoly addict, a master ofMonopoly strategy. That summer she was leading her husband 6-3 in theleague which they began afresh each year.
On the sixteenth of October 1982 she attended the graduation of herson from Trinity College. He took a BSc in Chemistry. She wore a bluedress which showed to advantage a still-slender form, despite the approach of her sixtieth birthday. After the ceremony in the ExaminationHall, the graduates gathered in the quadrangle. Included in the audience were parents of graduates and assorted members of the community, such as active sisters, affiliated Dominicans, and, occupying therearward rows, more brightly coloured lay staff. It was an unseasonablywarm afternoon, the powerful sun calling forth the breathing lawn anddamp, rain-fresh cobble. The quadrangle was loud with spirited chatter; the dresses of the women moved lazily in the mild breeze. Éadaoinand Colm fell into conversation with Doctor Terence Molloy, an oldacquaintance and the family doctor. An ill-defined impulse led her totake two backward steps which left her beyond the range of Doctor Terence Molloy’s friendly voice. She turned away and went slowly over the