ballyhea 201

First march of 2015, the year of the fightback. Greece on the verge of something big, Spain likewise, only a matter of time before Ireland follows suit. And bank-debt will be top of the agenda. That little pebble in the shoe of the EU/EC/ECB is about to become a hell of a lot more uncomfortable.

Every week currently at  201 weeks  we’ve held a protest march in Ballyhea, and every Sunday until the deal of last November is revisited and revised in favour of the Irish citizenry, we will continue; 10.30am, meeting at the church carpark, ten minutes done and dusted.

When you’re in a hole, stop digging – wise advice. Even Taoiseach Kenny and Minister Noonan would both surely accept now, we’re in a hole, a deep hole. But hark – coming fast down the track, another €64.3bn of bonds. Due for redemption over the next few years (according to the Central Bank’s own figures issued a few months ago, March 2011), €7.5bn in bonds this year, €19.8bn in 2012, €17.4 in 2013, €20+bn thereafter. Does anyone out there, in government or out, still believe that along with our current level of debt we can afford to redeem those losing bets?
Surely, surely, it is time to call a halt to this madness. The EU doesn’t appear keen to engage in meaningful negotiations; well, time then for leadership here, time to make hard decisions. The FIRST of those decisions should be – no more bondholder bailout by the Irish people, not another cent. The second should be the declaration of a State of Emergency (our current situation defines emergency), followed immediately by emergency legislation, which should include a temporary cap on public salaries and pensions, a temporary deal for those mortgage-holders who need relief, and the use of our remaining Pension Fund billions to enable the economy to begin real recovery.
We have been marching in this parish now since the first Sunday in March, every weekend. It’s a short, peaceful, non-party-political protest, with a single aim – to undo the deal done in our name last November, when the ECB decreed that we had to accept bondholder bailout as part of the loan package to get the nation back on its feet. That bank debt is what is actually sinking us. Join us, please; you’re welcome in Ballyhea, but more welcome to start your own protest in your own community, no matter how big or small. This is still a fight worth engaging in; eventually, those in power will hear us.
Diarmuid O’Flynn.