Cahir protest demands referendum on bank bailout

The start of a public movement in response to Ireland’s banking crisis began in Cahir last Saturday evening when a group of people decided ‘enough was enough.’

The start of a public movement in response to Ireland’s banking crisis began in Cahir last Saturday evening when a group of people decided ‘enough was enough.’

The small group, armed with placards, took what they hope are the first steps in a campaign to have a referendum in Ireland on the banking bailout.

On the same day groups also protested in Ennis and Gort. The Cork village of Ballyhea has been staging similar protests for a while now.

All three groups are strictly non-party political and the leaders decided it was time to speak up when they, as friends, had a conversation over the dinner table, Cahir organiser Stella Coffey explained to The Nationalist.

“We are concerned about the situation, and when we talked to other people who are concerned we felt something should be done,” Stella said. “We are not going to be ‘sheep’ anymore!

“If something isn’t done in the next two months the time will have passed,” Stella warns.

She and her friends are calling on the government to hold a refendum to allow the Irish people a say on the banking bailouts. They plan to stage a protest in Cahir town centre every week and are hoping the movement will catch on in other towns.

“We got a positive reaction in Cahir,” Stella said. Sixteen people were there for the first protest and she hopes more will join next Saturday. Anyone is welcome to come along, bring a banner, but must agree to remain non-party political.

The protest next Saturday will be at 12 noon in The Square.

The group have also set up a Facebook page for people to find out about them. See ‘Ireland Bailout Protest’ on Facebook.

“The government’s steadfast and continuing policy of bailing out the Irish banks and their bondholders is at great personal cost to Irish citizens”, read one placard last week, a recent statement by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Economics Prize winner and former chair of the World Bank. Another stated: ‘€85,000,000,000 and rising: cost, to date only, of bank bail out.’