Sunday, June 3, 2007

'Legion of Mary routs drug dealers'

You just can't improve on a headline like that.

Researching the Legion of Mary online in advance of my talk at its youth conference this weekend, I found a May 27 news article on how the Legion is using spiritual weapons to drive drug dealers off a Dublin street:

A NEW force has come out to combat the scourge of drugs in inner city Dublin - Legion of Mary volunteers handing out holy medals and religious pamphlets.

Some traders in the famous Moore St in central Dublin are putting down a remarkable transformation of the area down to a flight of drugdealers before the religious zealots.

The Legion of Mary previously targeted Stringfellows Lap Dancing Club in Parnell St, at the top of Moore St, which eventually closed.

Since the Legion of Mary started handing out leaflets and medals on the street several months ago, the place has, according to some local traders undergone a remarkable transformation, and has now returned back to its once peaceful ambience.
Giving out Miraculous Medals to counter evil? That's my kind of activism!

The article goes on ("traders" apparently are street vendors):
Many of the traders had to work the street with drug dealers openly dealing within yards of their stalls there was also a 'crackhouse' operating on the street.

"There were dealers from Ireland as well, loads of them. I don't know if the Legion of Mary drove them all out, sure no one believes in anything anymore!" explained street trader Francie Turner.
That last line is gloriously Chestertonian.

The end of the article (which is worth reading in its entirety is also delightful.
The old-fashioned image of the Legion of Mary, of ladies of a certain age in brown sensible shoes and calico socks, has long been replaced by younger people in professions. In the city centre beat, they normally work the street in groups of three men, offering medals or a chat about the work of the Legion to anyone who cares to take an interest.
These people sound like the salt of the earth. I can't wait to meet them.