Local Heroes Vow to Fight On in “Shell to Shed” Enterprise

Tullamore – The government, the EU, the IMF, and the international markets may have us by the throat, but out there in the cold and barren heartlands of Offaly a few patriots are determined to fight on for the right of all Irish farmers to run small, family-owned illegal businesses from the cowshed.

“It’s our land, and it’s our right to use that land as we see fit,” declared Jim Byrne (53) as he and his son John were led away by the police after an illegal oil laundering business was discovered in their barn on Dec. 16.

Gardai said the cowshed oil laundering operation was sophisticated and possibly international in scope.

Gardai said the cowshed oil laundering operation was sophisticated and possibly international in scope.

“The big oil companies and their government lackies don’t have the right to take over our land and tell us we’re not allowed to launder oil on it. Who gave them the right to endanger our livelihoods? I didn’t sign any forms saying they could come onto my property and take my oil pipelines out,” said Mr. Byrne indignantly, to spontaneous applause from the neighbours who had gathered to witness the scene.

“If I want to have unsafe pipelines full of crude oil running under my farm then that’s my right,” continued Mr. Byrne as the police tried to drag him away into a waiting van. “Everyone in Ireland has the right not to buy expensive petrol from a petrol station but to launder it themselves in their own barn.”

“The ‘Shell to Shed’ campaign will fight on!” he said, to cheers from his family and friends.

In the wake of Ireland’s economic collapse and the steady increase in oil prices over the last ten years, laundering oil in the family cowshed has become a staple of Irish small and medium enterprises. Last week’s find was the largest this year as the Tullamore shed could launder up 100,000 litres per week.

“Fuckin’ right it could,” said Mrs. Eileen Byrne (54), the wife of the arrested farmer. “Why should that money go to Shell or BP or any of those other fuckers, huh? Tell me that!” she said challengingly, to much shrugging of shoulders from the assembled journalists, who had to admit she had a point.

“If we want to produce a bit of oil for ourselves and our neighbours, then I don’t see what right the government has to shut us down.”

Mrs. Eileen Byrne refuses to hand the oil over without her consent.

Mrs. Eileen Byrne refuses to hand the oil over without her consent.

When asked if 100,000 litres a week might reasonably be described as something more than a ‘bit of oil for the neighbours’ Mrs. Byrne said exasperatedly, “I meant neighbour in the Biblical sense, not the local sense. Who is my neighbour? Jesus tells us that everyone is our neighbour, for 50p a litre.”

When asked about the loss of revenues to the Exchequer totalling €2.6 million, Mrs. Byrne snorted in contempt. “What would the Exchequer have done with that €2.6 million? Do you really think they would have spent it on schools and hospitals? Sure it would either have gone to the bank bondholders or into Biffo’s expense account. Is that where you want your money to end up?”

Again, there was much shrugging of shoulders as both journalists and Gardai acknowledged that Mrs. Byrne had a fair point there.

The ‘Shell to Shed’ campaign has grown rapidly in the past week with increasing numbers of people asserting their democratic right to steal Shell oil and launder it in their own shed. The Byrne family have quickly become folk heroes to a nation increasingly frustrated with being reamed by financial markets, international institutions, and Biffo.

In an effort to combat open rebellion in his own constituency, Taoiseach Brian Cowen drove down to Offaly to remonstrate directly with the ‘Shell to Shed’ campaign.

“Stop this shit!” roared Biffo as he pulled his wobbling bulk out of the back of his ministerial Mercedes. “Who the fuck do you people think you are, ha? Do as I fuckin’ tell ya!” he bellowed, his three chins flobbering in uncontrollable fury.

The cowshit that hit Cowen has become a celebrity in its own right.

The cowshit that hit Cowen has become a celebrity in its own right.

Mrs. Byrne casually picked up some cowshit with a shovel and hit Biffo in the face with it, thus guaranteeing her status as one of Ireland’s greatest folk heroes, about whom songs and stories are already being composed.

“I don’t know what the Gardai are up to,” said Mrs. Byrne, resting nonchalantly on her legendary shovel as Biffo tried to wipe his face on the crisp white shirt front of a nearby policewoman. “Puttin’ my Jim in jail for helping people get cheap fuel, and letting that fucker run around free after he bankrupted the country.”

“It’s no wonder this country’s in the state it is, when small businesses are being shut down to keep the big bastardin’ corporations and their Fianna Fáil lackies afloat.”

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