Irish Republican News · April 29, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Mass rally to say ‘enough is enough’
Mass rally to say ‘enough is enough’
enoughisenough.jpg

Republicans have been urged to take part in a protest march “Enough is Enough” against bank bailouts which will be taking place Tuesday evening 11th May in Dublin.

The protest has been organised by the Right to Work Campaign, a coalition which includes political parties, trade unions and community groups.

Among those expected to address the demo, which will begin at the Gardens of Remembrance before proceeding to Dail Eireann, are Irish Times journalist and author Fintan O’Toole and Professor of Equality Studies at UCD, Kathleen Lynch.

Sinn Fein spokesperson for Justice Aengus O Snodaigh has called on people to “stand up, take part and make your anger known”.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the march, the Dublin South Central TD said that government inaction was paralysing and further bankrupting the economy.

He said the government had failed to implement a job creation strategy which his party had proposed.

“I would ask the government how bad must the Irish economic crisis get before it takes on board the alternative solutions to the deal with the effects of the recession and the their failed economic model followed for Fianna Fail government in particular?

“They are still relying on the advice and instructions of the very same people and companies who put us in this mess. It’s time this government put their arrogance to the side and listened to the alternatives strategies that exist.”

Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance, said the protest would be the first in a number of rallies to be held against the Government’s handling of the economic crisis.

“Tens of billions of public money is being poured into the institutions that created the current crisis and yet there is no strategy apparent from the Government on creating jobs or protecting the vulnerable in our society,” said Mr Boyd Barrett.

“The only way this economic madness can stop is through a people’s rebellion on the streets. We need to do what the pensioners did when the Government tried to rob them of their medical card entitlement, we need to do what people in Greece are doing and take to the streets.”

We want people bailed out and jobs and services bailed out, not bankers and economic elites and if the Government aren’t willing to change track then we want to drive them out of office” he added.

Also speaking today, Socialist Party MEP Joe Higgins said that in the absence of any real alternative within the political establishment, “only sustained people power protest coupled with strike action can derail the Government’s agenda.”

“I think it is high time that ordinary working people, young people, the poor and pensioners begin to enter the political scene as real actors and activists with mobilisation in opposition to the current polices,” he said.

The demonstration against the bank bailouts on May 11th is an example of the type of action the whole trade union movement and community groups should come behind,” Mr Higgins added.

GARDA ANGER

Meanwhile, an extraordinary controversy has arisen out of the annual conference of the Garda (police) Representative Association (GRA) in Limerick during the week.

A withering criticism of the Dublin government, which accused Fianna Fail of national sabotage and protecting “economic traitors”, was circulated among the media before the speech was pulled.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern was to be the target for the criticism by outgoing GRA president Michael O’Boyce. He withdrew his offer to attend after getting wind of the devastating speech, an unprecedented attack by a senior Garda representative.

The Dublin government has repeatedly cut the pay of the Gardai in recent years and the force is said to be on the verge of launching widespread industrial action.

In the script of his address, Mr O’Boyce said the government had been “corrupted” and that Fianna Fail had been “bought” by developers and bankers.

The incoming president of the GRA, Damien McCarthy, said he had “no difficulty” supporting his predecessor’s comments.

The GRA president decided not to deliver the speech because the Minister was not present to defend the allegations.

Today, Ahern bizarrely demanded that the GRA “apologise to the people of Ireland” for the comments, which he claimed amounted to an attack on the institutions of the State.

In another indication of the new venemous nature of the relationship currently between Fianna Fail and the Gardai, the Minister also vowed that any moves by the garda rank and file representative body from becoming a fully fledged trade union would never succeed as long as he was in office.

PENSION CONCESSION

There was one sign this week that public outrage at corrupt government practices are staring to have an effect.

Senior Irish political figures receiving both salaries and pensions have been forced to forego their pension payments in response to public outrage over serving politicians receiving double payments.

Under controversial legislation, members of the Dail and Seanad who acted as ministers are entitled to claim a pension, even though they are still members of the Dublin parliament.

European Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn became the first high profile public representative to forego her pensions on Monday evening.

Ms Geoghegan-Quinn had come under severe pressure over receiving pensions worth more than a hundred thousand euro a year on top of her salary at a quarter of a million euro per year.

All Labour and Fine Gael parliamentary members said they were prepared to stop accepting their ministerial pensions on Tuesday.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also announced that he would give up his ministerial nest egg.

In January it emerged that the Revenue Commissioners hed granted Mr Ahern tax-tree status under the artists’ exemption scheme for earnings from his autobiography,

Some Fianna Fail former ministers have now followed suit. Four hold-outs remains, including Donegal TD Jim McDaid, who has blankly refused to give up the money.

The Fianna Fail government has insisted it has done all it can to limit pension payments, which have already been cut by 25 per cent, and has said it is up to the individual former ministers to decide to forego their payments.

Fine Gael yesterday published proposed legislation that would remove ministerial pensions from all sitting members of parliament.

Party leader Enda Kenny warned that if the government did not adopt the legislation he would force a vote in the Dail on the issue.

© 2010 Irish Republican News