The Daily Shift’s Sean Defoe reports on a number of protests that took place in Dublin recently, including the Waterford Gives A Shirt campaign and a pro-choice protest…
Protestors from Waterford marched to Dáil Eireann on Wednesday to campaign against recent cuts in the county.
Members of the Waterford Gives A Shirt campaign gathered in St. Stephen’s Green before marching to Leinster House. They held clotheslines as they marched, their message being that the government has taken everything but the shirts off their backs.
The aim of the campaign is to highlight the plight of Waterford, which is facing downgrades to its hospital and city status. Organiser Liz Murphy says:
“They’ve taken everything from us: the VEC has moved to Wexford, the IDA has moved to Cork.”
The group contacted Taoiseach Enda Kenny and asked to meet with either him or a minister. This request was refused. Fine Gael TD Paudie Coffey accepted a letter with “five or six points with problems and the solutions, and he has undertaken it to bring it to the Taoiseach’s attention.”
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin met briefly with the protestors outside Leinster house. When asked if Fianna Fáil would push for Waterford from the opposition benches he said:
“We will work with this group and others to try and come up with new ideas to try and help Waterford.”
Waterford has “been failed by the IDA” according to Independent TD John Halligan. He says:
“The IDA in Waterford are not doing their job, they should resign. They’re not fit for purpose because they have not been able to produce or bring jobs into Waterford.”
This protest follows the mass march that occurred in Waterford two weeks ago which 15,000 citizens attended.
The protest was organised with no particular alignment to any political party, however representatives of every party were in attendance. TD’s John Halligan, Ciara Conway (Labour) and Paudie Coffey (Fine Gael) were joined by Senator David Cullinane (Sinn Fein) and Councillors Seamus Ryan, Mary Roche and Gary Wyse.
Later in the day roughly 5000 people marched on the Dáil seeking an end to cuts for people with disabilities. The protest was organised by many bodies throughout the country, with representatives from Cork, Donegal, Roscommon and Sligo among those visibly in attendance.
They gave “those in policy the red card, not just the government” according to Susie Byrne, who gave a speech to the protestors.
At 6pm a third large protest gathered in anticipation of the Dáil motion with regard to legislation of the X-case. One pro-choice campaigner was seen to write ‘I have a heart too’ in chalk on the pavement outside government buildings.