Ambassador Kevin Vickers is not a man who is frightened easily. With a nearly 30-year career with the Canadian Mounties and an appointment to Sergeant-at-Arms in Canada’s House of Commons, he had demonstrated his bravery time and time again. As a matter of fact, in 2014, Mr. Vickers and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer shot and killed a gunman who had rampaged through the parliament building, risking their own lives and saving many more. Mr. Vickers is a hero.
But, now, as the Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Vickers has had quite a few experiences in Glanmire House, his official residence, that has had him shaking his head.
The BBC reported that Mr. Vickers did not believe in ghosts until moving into the official residence. He shared his experiences with the ghost of Glanmire House on his Facebook page.
“Some evenings he or she seems agitated. Then days go by and all is quiet,” he said.
The evening before writing the post he was watching TV “when all of sudden I heard a heavy chain fall on the floor in the dining room. I immediately went there and there was nothing on the floor”.
Mr Vickers says a couple of weeks prior he heard heavy footsteps on the stairs and laboured breathing but that no-one was in the hallway when he checked.
His “wonderful maid, Anna” sometimes refuses to go upstairs.
“If anyone doubts the validity of this story, you are welcome to come and stay a night or two here,” he said.
“Just now I heard an unusual bang downstairs.”
Mr. Vickers, a history buff, suggests it may be the spirit of one of the leaders of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising.
When he first moved into the residence, the ambassador heard rumors that Irish nationalist Patrick Pearse had once lived at the home in Dublin’s Ranelagh district.
Pearse was one of the architects of the April 1916 rebellion to overthrow British rule and set up an Irish republic. Over 450 people were killed during the six-day armed struggle and more than 2,600 were injured. Pearse was court-martialed and executed for his role in the rebellion.
Mr. Vickers described how the rumors that the Irish nationalist leader lived in the home spurred him to dig up documents signed by Pearse to lease the residence’s grounds between 1908 and 1912. “So, I wonder if it is he who walks the hallways of this residence,” Mr. Vickers said.
Whoever it is, I believe Mr. Vickers is well up to the challenge of being his roommate.