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A split second
Activity 2

A split second

Eureka Street, Robert McLiam Wilson, 1996.

Rosemary Dye turned into the small sandwich shop to which she always went. She stopped at the door to let a handsome young man in a green suit pass by. He, struck by the flush of her face and neck, smiled flirtatiously and held the door open with a vaguely gallant air. She smirked happily and stepped under his arm. She turned to murmur some thanks and stopped existing. The largest part of one of the glass display cases 1 blasted in her direction. Though fragmented before it reached her, the pieces of shrapnel and glass were still large enough to kill her instantly. […]

The young man who had opened the door for her – he was thirty-four but still had unlined skin and thick hair, had always been thought younger than he was but what had irritated him in his early twenties now delighted 2 him, as he saw his old schoolfriends married or bald and he could still comfortably date girls ten years younger than he was – was also killed, though he took nearly twenty seconds to stop existing. […] Inside the sandwich shop (how unglamorous, how untremendous 3 – Northern Ireland has never dealt in epic murder sites) […], Kevin McCafferty stopped existing.

[…] So, thus, in short, an intricate, say some, mix of history, politics, circumstance and ordnance 4 resulted in the detonation of a one-hundred-pound bomb in the enclosed space of the front part of a small sandwich shop measuring twenty-two feet by twelve.

Eureka Street, Robert McLiam Wilson, 1996.

1. a glass “box” used to display items in a shop 2. very pleased 3. unremarkable 4. bomb (here)

Grammar in progress

Le prétérit

a. Que remarquez-vous à propos des verbes du texte ?

b. Comment les phrases négatives et interrogatives se construisent-elles ?

Exercices p. 234 Précis grammatical p. 279


Read the text.
Then, click on your path!


Workbook p. 115
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Present the text.

Where and when does the scene take place?

Search the Internet about: the Troubles, Loyalists and Nationalists.

Useful vocabulary: The scene takes place in…
From my research on the Internet, I learnt that…
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What is striking in the way the story is told?

What is the author’s point of view?

Watch the video about the Good Friday Agreement. Be ready to present it briefly.

Useful vocabulary: It is the story of…
This video explains how...

Let's talk this out!

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Share your findings with your classmates.

What is your impression about what happened? Discuss.

Discuss the following statement: “Violence is the last resort to solve problems”.

Useful vocabulary: This is quite shocking / unexpected...
I find this story distressing... I think that…

Over to you!

Create a timeline

Let’s use what you have learnt in and / or !

Make a timeline with the events mentioned on this page and write a blurb (short presentation) about recent Irish history. Be ready to present it orally. Tech tip: you can use make your timeline more dynamic.

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