Cllr's shock after constituency office is firebombed
Following a terrifying arson attack on her office in Duleek, a defiant Cllr Sharon Keogan has vowed she wont let the culprits intimidate her.
Cllr Keogan, who has been vocal about the drug gangs who have infiltrated Duleek and the surrounding district, discovered this morning (Tuesday) that her office on Main Street, Duleek was the subject of a sinister attack
"Whoever was behind it, wanted to burn me out, but I wont let them win," she warned.
Independent Cllr Sharon Keogan arrives at her office this morning
The culprits had firebombed the office, causing extensive damage to the door and hall and smoke damage to the rest of the office.
"It could have been an awful lot worse, because there are people living upstairs, but thankfully, nobody was hurt," she said. "They hadn't been aware of it."
Cllr Keogan discovered the incident at around 8.30am. Garda forensic experts were at the scene this morning examining it.
"I can only speculate who is behind this, but whoever it is, I wont let them win. I wont stop what I am doing," she said.
“Anyone who knows me, knows the work that I do and it won’t deter my work. I’m here to serve the community and will continue to do what I can to make our communities safe for all.”
“This office is here to serve the community of Duleek who elected me to represent and support them. This arson attack is not only an attack on me but also the people of the area. We have to stand together to say this is not acceptable.”
The hallway of Cllr Keogan's office was firebombed overnight
Cllr Keogan, who is an independent candidate in the general election, said she was in shock, but she wouldn't be stopping her drug awareness work.
She is currently hosting a series of Community Safety and Drug Awareness Talks, starting tomorrow night, Wednesday in St Patrick's GAA Centre Stamullen and in the Headfort Arms Hotel in Kells on Thursday. There will also be one in the Conyngham Arms Hotel in Slane on Wednesday 22nd January. The speakers will include the Gardaí, drug and addiction counsellors and mental health advocates.
In Feb 2019 she set up “The Feel Good Project” to address the issue of addiction in the community and provide support and positive action to parents and teenagers who are being intimidated by drug gangs.
Cllr Keogan's office in Duleek.
The outspoken councillor issued a stark warning to the drug dealers last year on behalf of the community of Duleek -“Get out and stay out.”
"I don't know if this is drugs related, but whoever is behind it, wont intimidate me. I wont lie down and let them win."
She pointed out that there is CCTV in the village and the Gardaí are going through that.
Cllr Keogan said her first priority when she was elected in 2014 was to set up an office to support the local community.
Cllr Keogan surevys the damage. PHOTOS: SEAMUS FARRELLY
"Today the office is a well established support unit for the people of Duleek and surrounding districts where they can seek help and advice on social housing, social welfare, drugs, Tidy Towns, mental health, youth support services and more.
"I need to get it back up and running again."
“My office is destroyed but I am going to continue to work hard for the community. The office is adjoined to apartments too so this could have been devastating for so many people. I am very upset and shocked that this would happen to me when all I try to do is good.”
Garda forensic experts have technically examined the scene and gardai are checking the village CCTV, as well as CCTV from local businesses.
A spokesperson said they are also carrying out house to house enquiries. "It is early stages yet and a motive had not been identified at this time," he said.
For more on this story see the Meath Chronicle, out later this evening