The Copper Coast

turbine fence

Things were getting too hot in Mullingar with the Election Police sniffing around and closing my accounts and even raiding the house, I shit you not. They took away the old laptop for ‘forensic analysis’ and never brought it back, probably scared of Peig who was screaming at em fit to bust. So I’m sitting here in Mullingar Library putting these words together on a jammy old computer last used by James Joyce when he wrote the feckin Dubliners.

You’d never recognise me with my beret and pencil moustache, but I am just back from laying low in France over the elections.

I got an e-mail sometime back from the FCT (Français Combattre les Turbines) inviting me to come over and learn from them as they’ve been in the business for a while now. I was a bit skittish after what we had done to them in the Six Nations, and in their backyard, but cos Mullingar felt like living in a police state with the black cars and ‘house visits’, I thought how much worse could it be, like ?

When I got over there and they tried to speak to me and me to them, twas all a bit confusing to be sure but we got the hang of it after a load of red wine and cheese and that syrupy diesel they drink – pastis – a bit like poteen, it tastes grand after the tenth one .

The Frenchies were reading my blog and thought I had a wind turbine in my backyard. I managed to draw a picture of The Pylon and they understood then. Noworries, as we agreed that wind turbines need pylons to carry the juice, so your enemy is my enemy and dats da ting now. Anyways,  there’s a plan for a huge windfarm been built just up the road from me with enough noise and flicker to drive one spare, so I might as well learn about the feckers now.

My new mon ami invited me on a raid. I was a bit jumpy as this was the real deal, even down to wearing black and rubbing burnt cork all over my face, although I think twas just a burnt Gauloise stub by the smell of it. No guns thank God, just a huge feckin toolbox, the three of them and myself.

We drove out into the country, my new best friend explaining that it was easier to target turbines in the countryside, there being nobody around to check up on them. The words were hardly out of his gob when we came up to one of these monsters – jesusmaryandjoseph, they are giant – 100 metres I was told.

It was like a French episode of the A-Team, Le Oui Team. A giant of a man, who looked just like that rugby player Sebastian Cheval – The Horse – was out with the boltcutters and hacksaw and had the door at the base of the tower open in two ticks. I sat on the car bonnet and kept lookout – not that you could see anything in the pitch black. A minute later the huge Frenchie comes over to me, kisses me on both cheeks, lifts me off the car and hoofs me towards the door, before sitting himself down on the car. His way of saying ‘ye’re missing all the fun, get inside ya wee monkey’.

I’d never been inside a turbine but sure it’s like the stairway at Blarney Castle – it just goes round and round and up and up – too narrow for Le Giant outside. At the top theres the other two French boys, with those little miners helmets with the light on them. They were already taking the plate off the side of the engine. And then I saw it and knew why we were here – copper wire, and loads of it. Almost a ton of it to be exact, and your man explained that they would get €4500.00 for the copper wire from the one turbine.

At this stage I was in a panic cos this was too serious for me, and I had visions of a French jail smelling of onions and old garlic, being probed every night by another version of The Horse, so I just wanted to get out of there. And we did – the crew had that copper wire out of there so quick and into the back of the van and we were gone before you could say merde, baiser les Anglais. Just as quickly we stopped at what looked like a junk yard and your man had a stash of euros bulging in his pocket.

What happened next caught me completely on the hop and is the only reason I’m telling ye about this in the first place. We stopped at an orphanage on the outskirts of town – Le Orphelinat – and, I swear to God I saw this with my own eyes – your man puts the money in a big brown envelope and pushes it through the slot into the letter box, and then we were off. Robin des Bois himself. Who would have thought it ?

The FCT now has a fellow organisation in Ireland, called LIFT (Liberation of Ireland From Turbines), and the designated charity is Vincent de Pauls. Who’s up for it ?



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