An emergency public meeting has been called in the parochial centre in Mell to deal with the increasing menace of local motorcycle gang Mells Angels.
Residents of Trinity Street have been terrorized by the re-emergence of the gang in recent months. One resident, who doesn’t want to be named lest he antagonize the gang, had this to say.
“They crawl up and down the drag in Mell on their Harley Davidsons and don’t give a damn about anyone. They have biker jackets, beards and leather pants. You can tell they probably carry knives – and I’m not talking about the butter variety.”
Children can also be seen riding behind them on their bicycles, scowling at locals and wishing they could grow beards like their heroes. Some residents think them a bad role model for kids, but not everybody agrees. Kaal Durnin of Upper Mell supports the bikers.
“Mell’s Bells people! There’s an obesity epidemic going on in Mell and the wider Drogheda society so there is. So anything what gets kids exercising is a good thing. Am I wrong?”
Durnin may have a point. The Angels have set up a knife and bicycle chain fighting club for the under 12s. It keeps the kids fit and away from the drugs.
The gang emerged in the 90s from the counter-culture movement in Mell, an offshoot of dissidents frustrated with the liberal Drogheda samba and arts centre movements. Once Drogheda’s Bohemian quarter, Mell’s decline was rapid and is now one of the deprived areas of the town with very low literacy levels and a national school with five 7th classes.
Residents complain about unmuffled exhaust pipes after 11pm and too many wheelies on the streets. Other complaints include gang members not removing bandanas at mass with some bikers leaving before communion.
We spoke to some gang members to get their side of the story.
“We provide security for church collections – that’s why we don’t take communion,” explained Sergeant-at-Arms Concrete Dave. “We’re too busy taking up post mass positions. ‘Tis just like football; you’re at your most vulnerable when you’ve just scored. Christians are like that with communion. So it’s a good time to shake ‘em down. We take our cut. God takes his cut. Everybody wins.”
“Yeah,” said purple winged Robbie “Knuckles” Kieransis while road captain Crazy Beard Johnson just grunted and removed some chicken from his teeth with a sharpened wheel spoke.
Mells Angels also provide security for bare-knuckle boxing bouts in the area as well as local Plunkett’s matches, which can amount to the same thing. The gang came to national attention when they held and lost a pitched battle with their Blues counterparts, The Scabies Babies, during an under 16 Championship match in 2001.
President of Mells Angels Ron “Sawed-Off” Judge has called for calm. “We provide protection for local businesses and patrol the borders of Mell so other biker gangs from Navan or Ardee don’t come in and intimidate locals.
“We understand residents’ concerns but they forget we’re local too and I’ll tell you this – Mell will freeze over before we leave.”
The public meeting takes place tonight at 8pm. Mells Angels have announced that they will be revving engines outside the meeting and playing their signature tune, A Bat Out Of Mell, really loudly.