Gardaí have appealed for calm after Duleek Pioneers Association claimed responsibility for last week’s arson attack on the village’s only remaining pub.
Most of the Pioneers have since gone into hiding, with many being spirited to Donore and Bettystown to carry on the fight there.
In a statement fastened to the charred remains of Kelly’s pub with a golden pioneer pin, Duleek Pioneers claimed victory in their 105 year long struggle against the drink.
DULEEKMEN and DULEEKWOMEN. In the name of God and of the drunk generations from which she receives her old traditions, Duleek, through us, summons her children to a life of non-alcohol related fun, (no really it is possible), and strikes for her sobriety.
The proclamation was signed by all seven members of the Pioneer Council: Mary, Ann, Kathleen, Val, Kathy, Christopher and Alfie.
The shift from a non-violent Ghandiesque method of persuasion to a more hard-ass approach happened in 2014 after an internal Genesis Report found that the Pioneers 100 year old strategy of subtle tutting and leaflet dropping was just not working.
Once the decision had been made there was not going back. First to fall was O’Neill’s bar, felled by a ‘stove malfunction’. The Greyhound voluntarily closed its doors last year after months of brutal intimidation and name calling. It was only a matter of time before Kellys was targeted.
Duleek Pioneers was set up in 1911 by a group of like-minded individuals who weren’t fond of the dhrink. Oaths were made, palms spat into, hands shook. The demon dhrink was to be eradicated from the village at all costs lest it corrupt the morals of Duleek’s fine maidens and lead the ancient village to ruin.
That singular failure led directly to looser planning laws and a relaxing of the vetting process that kept Dubs out of the area. Nowadays, the village is crawling with blow-ins from the capital and hash plant growers. With no drink in the town, the Dubs are less likely to stay, say locals. “It’s a case of who cracks first,” said local bigwig Pa O’Brian, “Us or them. I hope it’s them.”
With no gardaí in the village, the Pioneers are unlikely to face charges of criminal charges. The only thing they have to watch out for is rival dissident Pioneer groups. Watch this space.