Jamie Rooney Of Mayo National Citizens Movement reflects on water charges protest in Dublin

‘Powerful message delivered to government hell-bent on keeping its head buried in the sand.’

Sligo News File Online. 

A Chairde,

On Wednesday December 10th, this country saw a massive 3rd wave of citizen protest in what can only be described as a powerful message, yet again, being delivered to a government hell-bent on keeping its head (and ears) firmly buried in the sand. The proverbial ostrich is nothing new to the Irish people who have been, and will continue, piling the pressure of citizens’ organised movements onto those deaf ears in Leinster House.

The National Citizens Movement Mayo brought a max. capacity coach to Dublin to represent north Mayo, while a mirror effort was carried out from Castlebar – the home constituency of our Dear Leader, Enda Kenny.

Representations of other National Citizens Movement local branches brought their gatherings to the event also – coming from Donegal, Galway, Wexford, Dublin, Westmeath; to name but a few.

Despite the cold weather that was in it on the day, the atmosphere was not only electric and positive all-round, but also entirely family friendly. Old, young, male, female, unemployed, working people, & pensioners took their voice to the national table once again.

The only negative on the day was the obvious and visible presumption by An Garda Síochána that, despite a national rally cry for that a PEACEFUL protest was organised, An Garda Síochána prepared for the IMAGINARY riots that are happening elsewhere in austerity-hit countries. Do they still not understand that WE THE PEOPLE in this island are willing and able to convert our rage, anger and emotion into a loud and voluminous VOICE?? To see An Garda Síochána have Kildare St. and Molesworth St. closed to the public, preventing them access to THEIR OWN parliament is an insult to the form of democracy that they so dearly cling to and shove down the throats of the ordinary decent citizen. To see the RIOT SQUAD and CANINE UNIT standing in wait only added to the level of disgust they managed to reinforce in the eyes of the citizenry on the day too.

On the stage, there was an cross-section of anti-water charge and anti-austerity support from Independent TDs, party TDs, experienced national and international protesters (offering the power of their hindsight), trade unions and their umbrella group (Right2Water), and revolutionary music to bring a binding resolution from the stage to the crowd – that “we are here to stay and that we are a force to be reckoned with!”. In the words of Paul Murphy TD: “Look at us now!”.

Staring right back at that chorus up on the stage, was a representation of ALL classes, ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, political affiliations, and interests of the common good, which echoed every single sentiment presented over the loudspeaker in unison like a chorus – in fact there were many choruses throughout that afternoon.

Let us be clear about one thing and ONLY one thing now, the people of Ireland now know that WE have the power and, to borrow from a great band of a protest generation 40 years ago, we are “taking it to the streets”.

We now no longer heed the official An Garda Síochána crowd estimates, nor that of RTE, as we have come to know that they cannot count any longer! When you have a 90% disparity between the UK National Broadcaster, BBC, and the Irish ‘National’ broadcaster (more like STATE broadcaster if we’re really being candid here) estimates of the crowd present – then we have to start looking down the direction that the questions which are being raised start to point.

We would like to pay thanks to those HONEST media staff who are not bound by their own whips in their organisations and who can air the truth that we as citizens are entitled to – we will continue to work with you guys, in parallel with calling out the CULPRIT media groups who seek to subvert the Irish public opinion.

The next huge wave of protest will be at a local level again on January 31st, and will overwhelm the nay-sayers – like Michael “Let them have their last protest” Noonan, and Enda “It’s not about the water, is it?” Kenny. We shall keep shouting in their ears until such time as they realise the humility they should have had all along, and truly sit down with the ordinary citizen to hear their concerns. In the interim, a self-organisation of local groups will continue to grow and they will continue their localized protest actions in order to repeat those messages that our leaders are vehemently continuing to seek refuge from

Is mise le meas,
Jamie Rooney
PRO – National Citizens Movement (Mayo)