The Keeley Chronicles PART 15

The definitive account of the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland, the ongoing campaign for justice and a labour-of-love in memory of the victim of a murder mystery still officially unsolved after 31 years

123. Mar 21st (cropped)

By Keeley Moss

 

PART 15 - CONTENTS
Chapter 40: A Flower Attracting
Chapter 41: Legacy
Acknowledgements for Part 15

 

Chapter 40: A Flower Attracting

Inga 1988 RUC poster - Cropped

Reaching Out: A portion of the original 1988 RUC poster that was distributed widely at the time requesting information from the general public

 

Beauty finds refuge in herself

She is suffering
You exist within her shadow

Beauty she is scarred into man’s soul
A flower attracting lust, vice and sin

Manic Street Preachers – ‘She Is Suffering’

 

Friday April 6th 2018 marks thirty years from the night Inga-Maria Hauser arrived in Northern Ireland and was subjected to the vicious and ruthless assault that culminated in her murder practically before she’d even set foot on land. On the 30th anniversary there has yet to be anyone held accountable for what remains the only case of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Recently John Dallat MLA and I travelled to police headquarters in Belfast for a meeting with the man leading the investigation into Inga-Maria’s murder, PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray, to inform him of our plans for a first-ever memorial in Northern Ireland for Inga-Maria and to discuss the investigation in general. I hope to tactfully discuss some aspects of what was a lengthy and very positive meeting in the next instalment, Part 16, of The Keeley Chronicles.

Many people have mentioned to me over the two years I’ve been working on her case that there was nothing to mark the area where Inga Maria’s life was taken. With that in mind, on Friday April 6th at 1pm myself and John Dallat MLA are to host a special event at the entrance to Ballypatrick Forest just outside Ballycastle at the northernmost tip of County Antrim to mark the 30th anniversary and where we plan to unveil the first-ever inscription stone for Inga-Maria. The event will also feature a performance of music that will hopefully accurately reflect Inga-Maria’s artistic nature and her love of music. All are welcome to attend and I would encourage you to do so.

I would like to extend thanks to the followers of this blog for your patience as I’ve waited to follow-up Part 14. I generally publish a new instalment each month without fail but I’ve left a three-month gap this time, quite deliberately, out of respect to the PSNI as soon as I became aware that their preference was for a lull in all coverage of the case in the months leading up to the 30th anniversary in order to focus the attention of the press and public on the next major concerted push in April and not risk diluting the impact of such a landmark anniversary. In the meantime I’ve been working away quietly behind the scenes in a number of ways. But as we approach the 30th anniversary, I intend for this to be the first of three new instalments on the blog in relatively quick succession, which will hopefully compensate for the paucity of new posts over the last few months.

With each instalment of The Keeley Chronicles I always endeavour to try and do something new, focusing on a different aspect each time, partly because like many creative people I have an aversion to repetition and partly due to the fact that I’m mindful that this case is now on the cusp of its 30th year and I am wary of going over too much familiar ground. So the main theme of this month’s instalment is something I haven’t covered before, focusing primarily on poetry and song lyrics inspired by Inga-Maria’s short life and the long shadow her murder has cast ever since.

In recent days I’ve been heartened to receive not one but two sets of poetry written in honour of her. The first is actually a trilogy – or “triptych” – of short poems penned by a strikingly-talented poet from Kilrea, Co. Derry named Clare McCotter. As you’ll see, her ability at weaving words is quite brilliant. The triptych was recently published on the Poetry24 website and I have received Clare’s permission to publish it in full on The Keeley Chronicles (see below). It is a beautiful and very moving homage to Inga-Maria.

But that’s not all – I was very touched to receive a poem written by John Dallat MLA about Inga-Maria which he completed roughly around the same time as Clare’s poems. As anyone who takes an interest in politics in Northern Ireland will likely be aware, John is someone with a long and illustrious career in politics and who currently represents East Derry on behalf of the SDLP. He holds the notable distinction of having been the first-ever nationalist mayor of Coleraine and also spent nine years as Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. But even more importantly in my opinion, he has been the only public figure to repeatedly call for justice in Inga-Maria’s case and previously made a direct approach to the then-RUC Chief Constable Ronald Flanagan. It is clear from numerous public statements he has published regarding Inga-Maria’s case over the years and from all my communication with him that what happened to Inga-Maria has had a profound impact on him. John’s touching poem is entitled No Beauty Hath Ever Been Seen and displays a real depth of feeling and sincerity. It is published below for the first time anywhere.

To make it a trilogy of works inspired by Inga-Maria, I’ve decided to round out this ‘Poetic Edition’ of The Keeley Chronicles with a piece of my own, ‘Plundered Past’, the lyrics to the song I wrote about her which was released as the second single by my now-defunct band Session Motts. I generally don’t like separating words from music as I prefer for the lyrics I write to live where I believe they belong: inside the song, beyond the clear comprehension that can strip a song of what I think is its most essential strength, its mystery. But I want to make an exception in this case, and publish the lyrics here for the first time in full (the Belfast Telegraph previously published the lyrics to the chorus of ‘Plundered Past’ on Page 3 of their July 12th 2017 issue).

For all the success my old band had with our two other singles last year (neither of which were about Inga-Maria) my own personal highlight of 2017 was in hearing one particular line in ‘Plundered Past’ regularly on the radio down South and seeing it as a posthumous achievement for Inga-Maria from beyond the grave, in defiance of her killers who must have thought they’d permanently silenced her on that night in Ballypatrick Forest. Although the line from Inga-Maria’s diary that I quoted in the song may at first glance appear to be innocuous, mundane even, and only consists of a mere four words – those being “Snowy mountains, wild landscape” – which she wrote on the train on her way to Glasgow on what would turn out to be the last day of her life, April 6th 1988, I felt there was something beautiful about the way those four words looked and sounded. I also feel that that line best expresses Inga-Maria’s wonderment at the beauty of nature and her appreciation of the world around her.

Snowy mountains, wild landscape. So simple and yet so descriptive and evocative, setting the scene exactly as she saw and perceived it on a Spring afternoon in 1988 as she gazed excitedly out of the window of a British Rail train while it whizzed past trees and fields en route to the Scottish city as the 1980’s itself raced towards the end of the decade. What makes those four words I think even more poignant is that they display the restless zest of a young person in love with the world, in love with life itself, living out a dream (and that is no overstatement on my behalf – Inga-Maria’s mum Almut was quoted as saying to the Bild newspaper in 2011 that “It was her dream” to travel to the UK and Ireland).

Snowy mountains, wild landscape. As Inga-Maria jotted down those four words in ink that day, she could never have imagined that they would be some of the last words she would write, that within hours she would be erased from this existence seven weeks and one day short of her 19th birthday, the precise circumstances of which remain a secret maintained by a clan of clones bereft of souls. She also couldn’t have possibly imagined that those four words which she penned in her diary as the train tracks beneath her feet clattered as the wheels met steel, each portion of track unwittingly carrying her closer to imminent catastrophe, that those four words would more than 29 years later be quoted in the form of a song inspired by her, and would resound from radios throughout the South of Ireland for several months (although it has to be said, to the obliviousness of most listeners who generally wouldn’t have known what or who the song was about). Plus it’s worth bearing in mind that Inga-Maria’s case has a far lower profile in my native South of Ireland than it has in the North. But it’s something no one can take from me that, however mundane it may sound, I managed to get something that she wrote so innocently and innocuously on a train in April 1988 onto the airwaves in 2017, and which I see as a posthumous vindication, one where the last line of the song would come true upon its release – “I’ll give you the voice they denied”.

 

Chapter 41: Legacy

glasgow-works-1-1988

The View From Here: British Rail train on the outskirts of Glasgow in 1988. Inga-Maria would have taken in this view on her approach to the Scottish city on the last day of her life

 

Triptych

By Claire McCotter ©2018

Back Packer

She is a swallow
on the heart hammering
brink of blue
for weeks her sleep
silvery with dreams
of maps and moons
and magnetic fields
now her bright brown eyes
on the edge of flight
the leap the drop
the rise the rise
the jolt of sky
the swoop the curve
the turn
her maiden voyage
a practice run
wound down at dusk
on a telephone line
her throat full
of sorrel and stars and sun
and miles
and miles of blue
and the miles and miles
of blue to come.

  

Solace

In her bedroom
she is a student of song
practising
guitar chords
before pressing record
not knowing
every time
her mother
presses rewind
the gold crocus
on her child’s tongue
candles the night.

 

Self Seeding

Left broken
in the place seed fell
they brought
their corn haired girl
back home
thinking of those
she might
have brought
to them
her mother
smoothed the earth
out over
her shoulders.
And yet
still in the forest
her dark eyes
blent with theirs
she waits at dusk
among the sika deer.

 

No Beauty Hath Ever Been Seen
A poem by John Dallat ©2018

No beauty hath ever been seen
To compare with the Munich queen
Clad in blue jeans
And full of beans
Looking forward to meeting a mate
My God she is so stunning, so sedate.

Offered a lift in a lorry
Inga-Maria has nothing to worry
No tourist before has come to grief
For her parents at home this surely is a relief.
The lorry is for Belfast or so he said
My God hopefully Inga-Maria is not being misled

A Province-wide search has begun
Is Inga-Maria in trouble or just having fun?
Sighted here and there, far and wide
Her family desperately want her at their side
They know she would not wander
And to strangers she would not pander

More sightings, who did she embrace
Surely this isn’t a murder case?
Inga-Maria is an intelligent child
Bright and creative, loving and mild
Who in their right mind would steal her life?
But such thoughts are now so very rife.

Sadly, those fears were well grounded
Inga-Maria in a forest has foundered
Died defending her honour
As deadly blows rained down upon her
A talented musician, a beauty so stunning
Please God her killers have exhausted their cunning.

 

‘Plundered Past’
Song lyrics by Keeley Moss ©2017

Singing The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
On this street lived a family
In the far-off lands of a plundered past

You could use your pencils and paint
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
“Snowy mountains, wild landscape…”
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
In the far-off lands of a plundered past

I love you, I live you
The old has become new
You crept in the back door of my mind
I need it, I feel it
I won’t let time steal it
I’ll give you the voice they denied

Eerie glow that bathed the streets below
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
Twenty to 10 they’re lining up
In the far-off lands of a plundered past

Scratches on his face hint at Hell
In the far-off lands of a plundered past
In the far-off lands of a plundered past

I love you, I live you
The old has become new
You crept in the back door of my mind.
I need it, I feel it
I won’t let time steal it
I’ll give you the voice they denied

You crept in the back door of my mind

I’ll give you the voice they denied

 

_____________________________________________________________________

Inga-Maria Hauser cropped-inga-classic-pic-better-quality
May 28th 1969 – April 6th 1988. Never forgotten.

© Keeley Moss 2018

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form without the permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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Acknowledgements for Part 15

With thanks to John Dallat MLA and Clare McCotter.

‘She Is Suffering’ lyrics by Richey James. Published by Sony Music Publishing ©1994

Triptych: Back Packer/Solace/Self Seeding written by Claire McCotter. Published by Copyright Control ©2018

No Beauty Hath Ever Been Seen Poem written by John Dallat MLA. Published by Copyright Control ©2018

‘Plundered Past’ lyrics by Keeley Moss. Published by Copyright Control ©2017