There was an air of quiet around the breakfast table. We all knew that we had been through hell and had come out the other side. Apart from a few wounds our lives were safe for now. How long this peace would last nobody knew. The first order of business was to hide all of the assault and military type weapons. The only firearms left in the open were hunting rifles that had permits. Irish gun laws are very strict.

We began the cleanup and repairs, taking measurements of the glass and the door that needed to be replaced. The front yard was scoured for bullet casings, especially those that could be traced to the paramilitary.

The police arrived, no sirens this time. An Inspector asked, “Is Padraig Murphy on the premises?Paddy arose from the table and talked with the officer, “Yes, sir, how can I help you?”

“You can help me by explaining the meaning of this. We found three large craters caused by military-grade rockets. You were attacked by a gang of 1%er motorcyclists, many of whom are now dead. For a farm and a homeless shelter, you have a very sophisticated defense system. Why is that and why should I not arrest you and everybody else here for murder and attempted murder?”

‘I know it looks bad officer, but I can explain. We didn’t bring any of this on, it was forced on us. Self-defense was our only concern. Three times we have been attacked and we responded with what I consider reasonable force. There are a lot of ex-servicemen here, many of whom are working as private military contractors. PTSD is what brings them here. They have a wide variety of weapons and licenses to use them. What would you do if someone was shooting at your house? I suggest that you speak to the MC club and find out why they  wanted to kill farmers and homeless people.”

“We’ve interviewed them without success. They have a rule about not speaking to the police and they’re sticking to it. We have a warrant to search your property. I hope we can bring some light on this bizarre situation. So, with your leave, my men and I will have a look around.”

“Certainly, officer, we’ll do whatever we can to assist in your investigation.”

We began the cleanup and repairs, taking measurements of the glass and the door that needed to be replaced. Some people stayed seated to finish their coffee. Others returned to their regular construction jobs. Just a normal day in the neighborhood.

The police returned to say, “Everything looks in order. I’d like to see the licenses for these weapons. You have enough to start a war. I hope that wasn’t your intention.”

“No sir, it wasn’t our intention to start anything. We were only defending our lives.”

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