St. Laurence’s Gate is to be moved brick by brick to Dundalk after Louth County Council stepped in to ensure its preservation after yet another HGV truck got stuck under its medieval gate.
The move will leave a bitter sweet taste in the collective Droghedian mouth as while most people realise it is for the best, they are also left muttering that “Once again, Dundalk gets everything.”
The gate itself was built by on the orders of Hugh de Lacy, the Norman lord made famous after the bridge to Scotch Hall was named after him. Historians doubt that de Lacy actually did any of the physical work, but in the true tradition of the Drawda politician, clemt all the credit for himself. The gate was completed in the tuteent Century, which is in itself a disappointment for many locals, as it denies them the opportunity to say the word foeteent. But sometimes they say it anyway. Foeteent.
Originally called the Great East Gate, locals renamed it St. Laancis Gay in the foeteent century after St. Laance performed a rake of miracles while living there. The miracles were so good they named the street after him too. Sadly, nobody remembers what they were except that they must’ve been class.
The tradition of destroying anything good in the town dates back to the eighteent century when local hard chaws would showcase their skills by taking a long run up and legging it straight at the town walls. This is how most of the walls were demolished back then.
However, destroying the town’s gates has proved a trickier affair. It took until the 1950s to finally get rid of the rest of them. On that occasion, the Town Council stepped in with some explosives to finish off the Butter Gate.
There was a backlash against that approach so the town council had to find another way of destroying the gate. They settled on not modernizing the town infrastructure so that HGVs could be channelled through the medieval gate. And to be fair, it’s worked a treat.
It is telling that during the Celtic Tiger boom years, money was found to transform the Glen into a big fish that could only be appreciated from a hot air balloon but no money or thought was ever put into closing the Barbican gate to traffic and opening it to tourism like in a normal society.
One official spoke to The Faa Side. “What’s all this Close the Gate nonsense? The road under St. Laancis Gay has been closed to traffic for years! We pedestrianized it in the 1970s. I don’t see what all the fuss is about.” Sadly, they used the same mad dictionary our esteemed urban planners used when they pedestrianized West Street by putting a road down it.
The Gate is due to be transported to Dundalk next week. On the plus side though, it will create a bit of employment in the town and the Cord Road will finally be opened up for business. Who knows, maybe a local artist will be commissioned to make a small replica of the gate made from photographs of it in Dundalk.