We ordered a full English breakfast to be brought to our room. The dress code for the restaurant is smart casual, whatever that means. In any case, we weren’t in the mood to make small talk with other diners. I phoned Paddy at the farm to hear if there were any new developments. He informed me that our pictures had been linked to the farm, they had probably been circulated to airports, seaports and major cities in Brittain. There was no purpose in another change of identity. The farm was in danger and we were the cause. Paddy had contacted his friends with the Irish Army and military contacts worldwide. We decided to head back.
We drove to the Chaplin’s Fancy dress where I purchased a Boris Johnson wig, Red went with a Theresa May. We have no love for British politicians, these wigs were simply inconspicuous. An Elvis and Marilyn Monroe wig would cause a lot of attention, even though they’re both dead. We next went to a thrift store where we purchased fairly conservative pants, shirt and jacket for me and a shapeless casual dress and coat for Red. We weren’t trying to make a fashion statement, just the opposite. We also purchased hats to complete the disguise and as something to hide behind.
We drove back to Holyhead and tried to stay out of sight until it was time to board the Ulysses. On board, we stayed in our room on Deck 10. We sampled the bottles in the mini bar and fell asleep shortly after. Our arrival back in Dublin was uneventful. there was little likelihood that anyone knew what kind of car we were driving. We avoided the busiest traffic routes and reached the farm just before nightfall. Paddy greeted us with a big hug and we sat at the kitchen table and drank Jameson.
Although the Irish Army couldn’t help us officially there were 1,600 active Reservists and plenty of soldiers on leave who had offered their personal assistance. We even had representatives of the Army Ranger Wing the special operations force of the Irish Defense Forces. Paddy had installed closed-circuit cameras covering the entire farm, these were monitored 24 hours a day. We had guards hidden around the perimeter fence. They would keep us advised of any intruders. We didn’t know how many gangs had been recruited. Intergang warfare kept many of them separated. Around 200 bikers gathered in Limerick for the initiation ceremony of a ‘full patch chapter’.
The last biker battle had been simmering for several years. Issues over patches and respect had resulted in numerous violent incidents. This led to the clubs attempting to broker a peace agreement over beer and wings – and it ended with countless bullets fired, nine bikers dead, 480 weapons recovered (151 guns, plus assorted knives, brass knuckles, batons, hammers, just everything), 20 injured, and over 177 arrested.
The pay for a security contractor is off the charts. Some mercenaries make from $500 to $1500 per day. Money to militarize the farm was not an issue. We would need our mercenaries to go undercover and report on the activities of the nearby gangs. This wouldn’t be an easy proposition. It had been reported that the clubhouse “had dozens of security cameras pointed in all directions making it impossible for anyone to approach the site without being seen. Also, it was bullet and blast proof. With plenty of food and water as well as a generator, the club would be able to sustain itself in a locked-down state for several days.”
Paddy said, “The law is on our side. We’ll fight a defensive battle. Those motherfuckers have no idea of our potential strength.”
With the construction equipment already at the farm, we could dig trenches for troops and pits to hide tanks and other military vehicles. There was a steady stream of military vehicles entering and leaving the farm. Hopefully, this would deter any direct attack. Primarily, the vehicles were providing food and construction materials for the homeless shelter, they were also transporting troops and state of the art weapons to be used when needed.
With our briefing over, Rhondda and I took a leisurely walk to view the progress on the building of the shelter, the establishment of on-site medical personnel and kitchen facilities. The construction, with military assistance, was progressing fantastically.
I saw Sean, who we’d brought to the farm, sitting on a stump, appearing to be enjoying the rare appearance of the sun. Ireland is green because of the rain. “Hello, my name is Dean. How are you enjoying the accommodations?”
“It beats living on the street. Accommodations, as you call them, are still temporary but I’ve been able to keep dry and have had a full belly every day. While I was begging on the street I had problems with accepting food from strangers. One guy gave me a homemade muffin. After I ate it, I felt a buzz like I’d had four hits of LSD. I was able to make it to the Cymru Shelter. That was the only place I could think of to go. I was able to lie down and it eventually wore off.”
I said, “I’ve heard similar stories from other street people. Vulnerability is a life-threatening danger. I’m planning to write a book about it. Perhaps you could mention that to your friends. I’d like to get to know as many homeless people as I can. Everyone will remain anonymous. I won’t be wearing a wire. I don’t judge anybody. Do you think that it will help to tell your story from another viewpoint, a more accepting viewpoint?”
“Yeah, I’ll mention it, but I can’t promise anything. Many people have told us things that never happened, so expect them to be skeptical.
“I see the way that shoppers on the sidewalks look at me like I’m some kind of scum. The guards (police) have started issuing fines to anybody caught begging or rough sleeping. At least 51 people have reportedly been convicted of breaching a public space protection orders (PSPO) for begging or loitering and failing to pay fines up to £1,100 since 2014, while hundreds of fixed-penalty notices of £100 have been issued. Cases are said to include a man jailed for four months for breaching a criminal behavior order (CBO) in Gloucester for begging – about which the judge admitted: ‘I will be sending a man to prison for asking for food when he was hungry’. In another case, a man was fined £105 after a child dropped £2 in his sleeping bag. The world is going crazy. If people can’t afford a place to stay or food to eat they certainly can’t afford to pay a fine.
“I don’t know what people are upset about. I have a real job. I sit on the sidewalk and greet people. I’m a greeter. I could work at Walmart.”
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