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“I’m lucky’ to still have a business” - Mayo publican in London

The Shanakee Pub in Ealing escaped damage in the riots.
The Shanakee Pub in Ealing escaped damage in the riots.

“I’m lucky to still have a business” says Mayo publican in Ealing, London

Trevor Quinn

Ballyheane native Bill Joyce (63) has lived in London since 1976 and he has owned the ‘Shanakee’ Irish pub on Ealing Broadway since 1988. Last week he watched in horror as the community was torn asunder by thugs.
Speaking to The Mayo News on Thursday Joyce said there was shock and utter disbelief in the area as property was vandalized and innocent bystanders were attacked by violent youngsters.
“There was about 100 of them running across the green in Ealing damaging and then lighting cars and property. Unfortunately a local resident who intervened is now on a life support machine.”
The man to whom Bill referred was a 68-year-old man Richard Mannington-Bowes who tried to stop rioters setting fire to large rubbish bins. He was attacked and knocked unconscious. After confronting the gang on Monday night, August 8 in Ealing, West London. He later died from his injuries on Thursday evening.
Joyce said at the start of Ealing Broadway a pizzeria, a pub and a chemist were decimated by mindless thugs. He counts himself very fortunate that his pub ‘The Shanakee’ was one of the few business premises in Ealing which was left unscathed.
“There was sporadic groups of five and six kids from 13 up who were behind it. They were very young. You wouldn’t be letting them in to the pub anyway.
“There is a Polish shop next door and they had their windows put in. My place was left alone but by god it was close. The riot police were outside my door and there were missiles being thrown left, right and centre. there must have been someone looking down on me.”
Fearing an invasion by the out of control thugs, Joyce locked his customers, most of whom were Irish, into his pub and decided to quickly barricade the door.
“There was about 20 to 30 regulars in the pub and I was afraid to let them out, but saying that I had a job to keep them in because they wanted to get out and stop them. It was absolute mayhem, those people had no respect for property or the police, they were pure yobbos.”
Joyce has lived in London since 1988 and he maintained he had never witnessed anything like the events of last week. In the eighties he said he witnessed rioting on the Harrow Road area of Brixton but that was incomparable to the scale of the riots he observed early last week.
He said, “I never expected to see anything like this happen in Ealing, never ever dreamed I would. Ealing is very community orientated and is one of the nicer places in London.”
Secretary of the Mayo London Association Brendan Gallagher said “All the Mayo guys are pretty close. Billy is well known to me and there is a large Mayo and Irish contingent in the Ealing area. We rang around and contacted everyone and thankfully there were no Mayo people injured and no businesses damaged.”
Joyce said that he thinks offenders should be brought before the courts as soon as possible, and stiff sentences should be imposed on all involved. “The thugs involved need to be taught a lesson,” he added.