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

[Irish Republican News]
100,000 march in Dublin against austerity measures

Up to 100,000 people took part in Saturday’s march and rally organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in protest at the government’s planned programme of austerity.

At the main rally at the GPO in O’Connell Street, the site of the Easter Rising, speakers strongly criticised the Government’s four-year plan for economic recovery and the loss of sovereignty as a result of the EU-IMF bailout.

The general secretary of congress, David Begg, said the country could not afford to pay the terms of the 85 billion euro loan.

Columnist Fintan O’Toole, who was the master of ceremonies at the rally, led the crowd in a minute’s chant of “Out, Out, Out” to the government.

Congress president Jack O’Connor said the aim of the rally was to object to the insistence of a government with no mandate “to draw up a plan and sign an agreement in our name which will decide the future of one or two generations of our people”.

While speaking on the platform, Siobhan O’Donoghue of the Community Platform tore up a copy of the Government’s four-year plan.

During their addresses, Mr O’Connor and Mr Begg were heckled and booed by sections of the crowd.

At around 2.15pm, just as crowds began to disperse from the Congress rally on O’Connell Street, a number of left-wing groups began their own addresses from a stage at the O’Connell monument.

Speakers, including Joe Higgins MEP of the Socialist Party and councillor Louise Minihan of Eirigi, criticised union leaders and called for a series of national strikes.

Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins said it was time the trade union movement was reclaimed.

“The leadership is not leading a serious fightback in opposition to this disaster. The union leaders are simply saying bring down the debt over a longer period of time.”

A small group of left-wing and republican protesters later held a protest outside the Dublin parliament.

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