THE GARD WHO RULED OLDCASTLE IN THE BARONY OF FORE

i won’t name names today, though mine was named in secret like a curse word or anomoly. Forgive them Father, they know not what they do me too but maybe now we do…we’ll call him BOO

He was respected and feared, well-connected and able to arrange things beyond the scope of most.  My Mother lauds him as impeccable when the Ambassador came to town with those Canadians.  The businessmen and publicans had a code and mostly kept it, though if you crossed him your pub would no longer sup all night and your business sadly fail…except the brave ones like young Canty who opened 8am despite stern warnings for the world cup glory soccer where triumphed for a while til Roy Keane also blew a whistle…..how dare he speak the truth and feign rebellion?  Good man,  but then he was a hero fell from grace and the lady of the tavern served us breakfast as we cheered….a joyous morning

Boo from choice would spend his time with ra boys chatting of business and escapades and important plans to help with say nothing pass no remark all is well.  They told him things in secret and he was skilled in what to say to who and when.  A mutual most comfortable respect like soldiers in a trench.

The young offenders or those who slipped he could powerfullly protect but always at a price… like a poker game of shame and fear but favours oft appreciated.  And then he owned you.

I remember him first when my daughter came in to our home Master Sheridan’s old place with frightened lads she waylaid as they tried to hatch a plan to run to England.  They were 14 15 yeatrs and green but stolen a car and Boo knew they felt they had no choice but run away.  I smiled at their innocence and bravery at so young an age, sure many a lad or lass crossed the sea and survived before them.  We rang each parent said they were ok it was past midnight and all but one was grateful they were safe.

Then I rang Boo and asked for grace to help them, a period of time a holding space to see if we could rehabilitate.  Dear Tommy raised a grant from Europe and we embarked on healing and redress.  We met each Saturday they worked on horses cars or garden as Chrissie cooked a meal for them and then we talked.  They talked.  One told of being raped at 12 by a man a friend and neighbour.  His parents did the right thing took him to Boo who was a gard.  He did the right thing also and drove him to Dublin the unit of shame…. driving home stopped in to the barracks in Kells where the lads had brought the rapist in.  Boo placed the boy in a cell just for convenience, as he interviewed the offender and decided he should be exiled to England…the boy convinced it was his fault why else was he in prison?  Then as the weeks went by, Boo would remind him of his shame saying Any bum chums lately such remarks….. to keep him from complacency and useful to control, another footman

Another told of warnings high in Moylagh where Boo permitted by her Dad held her quiet captive uncomfortable until she took a mobile from him to spy and ring him in with info when she had it…. in gratitude for sin forgiven temporarily in abeyance like being on parole.  A gard would oft be asked to take a wild son around a quiet corner bash him once or twice put manners he deserves it.  Parents were grateful for the helping hand of the friendly gard in managing rebellion….

The kids started to thrive in painful steps, once returning a car they ‘borrowed’ with a notice saying Sorry it was progress.  We had to tow it they had raced it run bone dry.  Good Healy welded rally cars, they built a Ford Fiesta, a farmer gave permission on a stretch of quiet land and the Leader paid for tools and things to channel their exuberance in safety

Small multitudes still held the secret phones though and obediently kept the gard in power.

As secrets deep and damaging were more and more revealed, Boo felt the power shifting and I had to be removed.  No tales of drunken women raped in back of barracks too should e’er escape….girls daring to speak up were told your case would never fly, sure what did you exoect if you were drunk, and your assailant bringing glory in the football go away….another victim dies or least implodes with self-destruction acted out for years to her disgrace her secret heavy….but order maintained and glory protected on the pitch to wild applause  and stories of like conquests exchanged amongst the knowing in the pub

Two of my lads it seemed were telling stories round the town, of porn and drugs and revelry in the project out of bounds, my home in Newcastle….it took a while for me to hear and horrified I ran and asked Lads why would you say that, ye speak of car boys at the Rectory not us…. we talk and heal… We’re sorry Angie we will stop he frightened us… with talk of jail and bum chums horrors worse if we refused ….the taxi driver also asked the lads as they arrived Who are you riding boys the Mother or the child?  Cruel smear campaign or whispers oft repeated become true.  Except they weren’t

We lasted for a year or so and most reclaimed their lives, the Gards wanted their J.L.O.’s to join see if different ways of dealing could bring similar results, two thirds our teens forgave themselves and got a life…..less serious angry teenagers allowed join a junior group so as not to be corrupted by the big boys with their stories…each tale a simple one of temporary alienation a Father dead, a brother strong a Mother hidden…

But exhausted not just by slander but by robbery of our tools, and circumstance of heart I quit and moved….to town…refusing pleas from teens to start again, the price too high

I complained first to the Sergeant he wrung his hands and said No point I tried …..the Super said his detection rates the best for counties wide I just want out.  I complained again in writing and three gards from Kells appeared saying You’re from a big family respected, why out here?  In a council house with nothing but your children?  Secrets I said ..told secrets, I disgraced them not forgiven I guess I’m delinquent too

They left in quietness and I’m not sure if it’s related or it’s not but the Garda Boo was moved away in quiet of retirement come nice early near his family who loved him

But morale in the Barracks tho aspired to n’er returned….one Robocop moved on for doing drug busts not approved, the dissidents annoyed perhaps or Dublin bucks here new for order challenged.  The saddest thing I heard from the Soccer Gard who helped our club was” NEVER would I want a son of mine to join the GARDS”

THOUGH BASED ON FACTS YET NAMES AND FOLK FICTITIOUS IF YOU MUST, NOR HARM INTENDED THEN OR NOW NO SINLESS LEFT AMONG US

Footnote…i.’m just joining the dots of intimidation which I regarded as random….the tools were all stolen, not by our kids but older lads including big brothers….the house was vandalised which I thought was a grudge against my daughter ….I phoned the gards who sent a fingerprint unit out…..I got six weeks intimidating texts telling me to leave the country or else….then I got a visit from a respected settled traveller saying many traveller families would come to town to drive me out if I didn’t leave…well my ex was called The Gypsy Builder so many had he helped I was happy to make calls myself we’d have a shindig…….when I would not back down, I received an apology and the harassment stopped but if the goal was to close down the project it succeeded and although I was not scared I was exhausted …..I wonder if the random attacks were all co ordinated. orchestrated by the charming Puppeteer.. .sometimes my naivete is a blessing and I see footmen as naughty or wounded not scary…   Maybe they see me as British or female and the enemy?  Love conquered yet all had paid a price

 

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