Fear stalks the land Word on the Week 2nd November 2019.
The question was attributed to the youthful Admiral Nelson, “What is fear Daddy?” However unlikely that it was ever asked the answer would have presented itself to Nelson many times in his life until his mutilated body breathed his last at the battle of Trafalgar.
Along the Fermanagh-Cavan border in Ireland such a question would not arise – they live with it every day. Illogically it is an area which has enjoyed prosperity from the remarkable success of Sean Quinn’s business. Starting from a sand and gravel quarry on his farm he developed a large cement plant which became the core product of his many business enterprises.
Some years ago Quinn over-reached himself rather badly and bankrupted the entire business empire.
Because he had brought prosperity to a previously neglected part of the country there was strong local support for the Quinn organisation. There was the feeling that somehow Quinn had been wronged and the businesses which have been sold by the liquidator, should not have been allowed to happen.
A local holding company was formed (QIH) and the previous management, people who Quinn had trained, were put in charge with Quinn acting as consultant. It was when Quinn apparently wished to run the companies that the Board, with the approval of their backers, had him removed back in 2016.
Over time intimidating letters and road signs bearing dire threats have been delivered to QIH staff or placed along the roadside. The signs come with a warning to not take them down. They make a statement as to who is in charge. The threats are not idle; one director was beaten to within an inch of his life a few weeks ago. The largest sign contrasted the salaries of the directors with Quinn’s remuneration. It had been on display for over a year All were afraid to remove it. During the night the Garda, removed it this week,
With the Quinn business prospering it is hard to see what is to be gained from all the intimidation (70 incidents in the last 18 months). Sean Quinn has publically stated that, since the attack on the director, he no longer wishes to regain control of QIH. Notwithstanding, this week a fresh threat was made against the five directors of QIH. It was accompanied by a photograph of a man in dark glasses wearing a balaclava sinisterly offering a ‘permanent solution’.
Additional Garda resources are promised – at the end of the month!
One of the first victims of fear is talk. Fear seals lips. Informers, so essential in police work, are few and far between. When silence reigns evil prospers. It gets a free hand.
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe” (Proverbs 29 verse 25). So we are not primarily to act out of fear of man but trust in the Lord’s protection.
Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (St Matthew Chapter 10 verse 28). This verse was given to encourage witness in circumstances of conflict where the loss of life was a present reality.
The Cavan – Fermanagh border sadly is another such place. Listen to the Lord thro’ Moses
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy Chapter 31 verse 6)