There was relief this morning as crime haven Duleek awoke to the news that the Garda strike had been called off. But it wasn’t the usual tiger kidnappings or mock executions of pensioners by inner city Dubs forced to move out to the sticks during the gang wars of the Celtic Tiger that had the locals in a tizzy…It was much more serious than that.
“I went to bed afraid,” confessed Emma McQuaile, local roll maker in Eurospar. “They say the good times are back but we’re not seeing it. Ayr margins are tight so they are. It’s a fragile eco-system we have here in Duleek. It doesn’t tek a lot now for it all to go to pot.”
McQuaile was of course referring to the affect the Garda strike would have on her continued employment at the village shop, Eurospar.
“I have a daily sandwich sales target to reach and the Guard buys a big ham and butter one every day that counts for two cos’ I do cut it in half for him. If I’m down on my count, questions will be axed. It’s three strikes and you’re out.”
The local Garda comes to the village from Ashbourne once a day to make sure the station fridge is still plugged in and the kettle isn’t scaling. He also performs crime prevention duties between 11 and lunchtime. In reality it’s a two man job but austerity measures have meant that these vital duties are performed by just a single Guard or sometimes by a Ban Garda, or Garda as they now call the women ones.
Duleek is safe for now, well crime free for 1.5 hours out of the day and so is Emma’s sandwich making job. But for how long? Food for thought.