independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

The spy who snubbed me: 007's door shuts on my secret mission

PRIME TARGET: Timothy Dalton answers his door yesterday. Photo: Tony Gavin.
PRIME TARGET: Timothy Dalton answers his door yesterday. Photo: Tony Gavin.

NEVER disturb James Bond in bed.

That's the golden rule when you're dealing with the world's top secret service agent.

His hair was dishevelled, his eyes bleary, but he looked every inch as handsome as when he first appeared on our screens in the 1987 Bond thriller The Living Daylights.

But Bond – aka actor Timothy Dalton – was in no mood for a knock on the door early yesterday morning.

Even if it was from a strange lady caller.

Dressed in a grey round neck sweater and jet black pants (not a tux in sight), the actor answered the door to his rented Dalkey cottage on Sorrento Road.

It's been over two decades since he catapulted onto the global stage in the M16 plot, but now Dalton has found himself at the centre of another spy storyline.

And this one is for real.

The home he is residing in belongs to none other than Oliver Connolly – the confidential recipient for whistleblowers who was relieved of his duties by Justice Minister Alan Shatter last week.

Details of Mr Connolly's taped conversation with a garda whistleblower emerged just after gardai came under fire over the bugging controversy at the offices of the Garda Ombudsman.

The story of suspense and intrigue read like something straight out of an Ian Fleming novel.

Save for Insomnia cappuccinos in the place of dry martinis and a 'whodunnit?' mystery that would have been handled a lot slicker if Bond himself had been involved.

But instead we've been left with allegations of suppressed evidence, rogue gardai and a political fire Justice Minister Alan Shatter is battling to extinguish. Surely the air of espionage and intrigue would be enough for 007 to want to sink his teeth into.

But by the look on his face – I already knew this was not to be.

"You know when they told me I had to doorstep my favourite James Bond first thing on a Saturday morning I thought 'well jobs don't come better than this'," I smiled, attempting to lighten his mood.

But he wasn't having any of it.

"No! No! I'm not talking to any journalists. I don't want to talk to any newspapers about this, I want no more calling to my door," he snapped.

I wonder if Q would have gotten the same response.

And so I left, a little shaken and stirred.

Still, the photographer had already done his job.

Bang! Bang! Bang! from across the road.

If this was a Bond movie, Dalton would have been toast.

My favourite 007 was always Pierce Brosnan anyway.

Sunday Independent

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