Frank McGinley came to England in 1972, but not by choice.
He was born in Belfast in 1946 and by the age of fourteen was the youngest member of the Provisional IRA.
At sixteen he played a major part in the planning and setting of the twenty two bombs that went off in Belfast City centre, killing nine people, it became known as “Bloody Friday”. Two things were sure to happen. He would either be killed by the Ulster Defence Association or the Ulster Volunteer Force. Two paramilitary organisations who were fierce opponents of the IRA.
So he was smuggled out of Northern Ireland and within forty eight hours he arrived at his Aunt’s house in Kilburn.
His orders were simple. Raise as much money for “the cause” as you can by whatever means you think necessary.
For Frank this was easy, every pub, club and bar in North London was visited every Friday. The Irish workmen loved to spend their hard earned cash on paydays, drinking as much Guinness as they could. So when someone came up with a bucket asking for a few coppers for “the cause”, guilt got the better of them and they always threw in as much as they could.
For ten years Frank ran this business with ruthless determination, each month eighty percent of the takings were sent back to Ireland and twenty percent was kept back so he could invest in other business interests in England. The hierarchy back in Belfast were happy with this arrangement knowing that Frank was a loyal member of the team. The consequences of disloyalty were well known.
In 1983 he married Carla, a gorgeous red haired young girl and two years later they had twin boys. That’s when the McGinley empire really began. There was McGinley Skip Hire, McGinley Car Sales, McGinley Landscapes, McGinley Windows and Doors; he was a very successful businessman.
He invested heavily in anything that made money, but was well aware of his patch. He ran North London, it was a postcode thing, god bless the great GPO. If it had an “N” in the postcode it was his, god forbid anyone who tried to sell, trade or rob anything in his manor because at some stage they would deal with the McGinley firm. But, do the honourable thing and “ask permission” to sell, trade or rob and that was okay, you paid a fee and off you went but everything was controlled by Frank.
The first time he heard the name Paul Fletcher was about ten years ago, he was doing well for himself, scrap mainly but then drugs. No problem with that it wasn’t his manor it was Terry Murphy’s. Terry ran the East End; anything with an “E” in it was his. Then he heard about Terry being gunned down by Fletcher, still not his problem as long as Fletcher kept East, business was business.
But the more he learned about Fletcher the more he disliked him; he was a thug not a businessman. He took things by force rather than by graft and brain power. Just like the Kray’s back in the sixties.
When Terry was in charge it was different, there was always a meet twice a year between the “Postcode Generals”. Terry had East and some of the City, he had North, Charlie Wilson had West and Billy Giles had South.
The “Generals” held a Boxing tournament twice a year for amateurs, they raised a fortune for young kids in their respective areas, they met, talked and had mutual respect for each other, everything was sweet. Then fucking Fletcher took over East.
He refused to attend any of the functions, just sent a fat cheque. No respect!
Frank contacted Terry Murphy in prison, a deal was done. When you come out, we’ll take over East together. This suited Terry, he knew he would need allies when he came out otherwise Fletcher would take him out once and for all. But most of all it suited Frank, it was another revenue stream for the boys back home, it also showed every other “Postcode General” that he was the Commander.
Eventually he and his two sons would take the whole of London.
Now he was sitting opposite Terry at his home in Kilburn. He stood up and walked over to a large display cabinet and took out to Brandy glasses. From a decanter on a nearby table he filled the glasses and handed one to Terry Murphy.
“Welcome home my friend. I hope everything is okay? I hear there was a slight altercation at the pub this afternoon.”
Terry just shrugged his shoulders.
“Nothing I can’t handle Frank. You know what Fletcher’s like, he’s an animal, no class, no respect.”
Frank nodded in agreement.
“I agree Terry, but we must be careful. He is an animal, but animals bite and we don’t want to get bitten now do we Terry?”
Terry laughed. He loved the way old Frank put things into perspective.
“No Frank, we certainly don’t want to get bitten.”
Frankl called over to a young man standing in the corner of the room.
“Mal, come over here.”
The small dark haired man walked over and sat beside Frank.
“Yes father, what can I do?”
“Terry, this is my son Malachi, he’s loyal to the cause, he and his men will be looking after you for the next few days, you’ll be staying in the Edwardian Radisson at Canary Wharf for a while, the boys will take care of everything. Okay?”
“Sure Frank, appreciate it, just want to show that cunt Fletcher what’s what.”
“I know Terry, I know, but slowly slowly for now, one of his men was taken out this morning just after you made an appearance, so he’s chomping at the bit, but no worries, we’ll sort this out all in good time.”
Terry was surprised by the information.
“A low life piece of filth called Danny, I think.”
Terry shook his head.
“Don’t recognise the name. But there again I’ve been gone for six years. Any idea who did it?”
Frank sipped his Brandy before speaking.
“No idea Terry, probably just an internal argument that got out of hand. But he’s with the devil now that’s for sure.”
Frank raised his glass as though offering a toast. Terry did the same. They drank to the death of young Danny.
Frank stood up, Terry sensed that it was time for him to leave and did the same.
“Okay, Terry, off you go now, Mal will look after everything for the next couple of days, I’ll be in touch.”
“Thanks Frank, I’ll remember this kindness.”
“Oh, I’m sure you will Terry, sure you will.”