View Full Version : Run from Ballyhea to the Daíl Against the Bailout

C. Flower
23-05-2011, 08:14 AM
One of the Ballyhea marchers, Diarmuid O'Flynn is planning to run from Ballyhea in North County Cork to the Daíl, starting on 31st May and ending on Friday June 3rd, ending with a march from Parnell Square to the Daíl, where he will deliver a petition.



BLOG: http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com/
TWITTER: @ballyhea14
FACEBOOK PAGE and link to ONLINE PETITION: Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest

May 23rd 2011

I hate running, absolutely hate running, and a few weeks off 57, after decades of abuse on various hurling/rugby fields and even more various construction sites, the body is in poor repair, the joints badly rusted, bits falling off here and there. But I said I’d do it, I will do it, hand-deliver the anti-bondholder-bailout petition to the Dáil, on foot from Ballyhea to Dublin, running from town to town but with a protest march down every main street along the way, culminating in Dublin on the Friday morning.


07.00 Ballyhea/Charleville 5.5 08.00
08.15 Charleville/Banogue 8.8 09.45
10.00 Banogue/Croom 3.1 10.30
10.45 Croom/Patrickswell 6.7 12.00
12.15 Patrickswell/Limerick 6.6 13.30
14.00 Limerick/Birdhill 12.3 16.00
16.15 Birdhill/Nenagh 12.5 18.15
08.00 Nenagh/Toomevara 7.3 09.30
09.45 Toomevara/Moneygall 4.1 10.30
10.45 Moneygall/Dunkerrin 3.2 11.30
11.45 Dunkerrin/Roscrea 5.5 12.45
13.00 Roscrea/Borris-in-Ossory 7.4 14.30
14.45 Borris-in-Ossory/Mountrath 8.5 16.15
16.30 Mountrath/Portlaoise 8.4 18.00
08.00 Portlaoise/Ballybrittas 9.0 09.30
09.45 Ballybrittas/Monasterevin 3.9 10.30
10.45 Monasterevin/Kildare 6.6 12.00
12.30 Kildare/Newbridge 5.6 13.30
13.45 Newbridge/Naas 6.7 15.00
15.15 Naas/Rathcoole 10.4 17.15
17.30 Rathcoole/Dublin 10.3 19.16
12.00 Parnell Square/Kildare Street 1.3 13.00
152.8 miles total
Diarmuid O'Flynn.

Fing Fers
23-05-2011, 04:33 PM
Fair dues to him, over 150 miles in 3 days thats some effort. Hope the news picks up on this, he could do with support the whole way.

C. Flower
07-06-2011, 03:22 PM
With very little news being reported, Diarmuid completed this run to the Daíl, and is now in recovery, I hope, in bed.

His blog gives his report on the whole experience.

BLOG: http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com/ (http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com/)
ONLINE PETITION: http://www.petitiononline.com/isntbb11 (http://www.petitiononline.com/isntbb11/petition.html)
TWITTER: @ballyhea14
FACEBOOK PAGE: Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest
June 3rd 2011

Well, we did it, marched down the main street of the final ‘town’ on our trip from Ballyhea to the Dáil, handed in our petition. A small group of us, about ten from Ballyhea, another dozen or more from Dublin and surrounds; a small march and a small petition (perhaps 800 hand-written signatures that we collected at all the various villages and towns en-route, another 500+ from the online petition) but that isn't the point – it was done.
We met at noon at the Garden of Remembrance, brilliant sunshine all over the country on this Bank Holiday weekend. The funeral of a very popular parishioner, Pakie Mortell (great Ballyhea-man all his days and I should have been there - may he laugh long with the gods), meant we lost several who would otherwise have been with us, and the fact that Ballyhea were playing in the first round of the Cork Premier Intermediate championship in the evening (lost to Newcestown, and I missed that too, laid up), further depleted the numbers from the home parish. Still, we had a few - young and old, male and female - and we were joined by a stout group who had been following online our journey up through the country.
Set off down Parnell Square following the same format as for our regular weekly marches in Ballyhea (which, by the way, will continue this Sunday, 10.30am), our ‘BALLYHEA SAYS NO! TO BONDHOLDER BAILOUT’ signs front and back, the REPUDIATE THE DEBT group banner in the middle (we hooked up with them in Limerick, their protest very much along the same lines as ours), headed then down O'Connell Street to the bemusement of the throngs on the footpaths, across O'Connell Bridge, heading for College Green. There we were joined by a double Garda presence, two motorbike cops.
‘Who’s in charge here?’, asked the lead cop;
‘Sure no-one,’ sez I, ‘we’re all together in it.’
‘Where’s Ballyhea?’, reading the sign;
‘A little parish in North Cork.’
‘Ye never notified us of this.’
‘Yerra we know nothing about stuff like that, we’ve never done anything like this before – we set off on foot four days ago in Ballyhea, we’ve marched down the main street of every town we met along the way, and we’re finishing off here now.’
‘Four days! Sure we’ll have to let ye carry on so!’
And from there to the Dáil they guided us along, protected our rear, held up traffic up front to allow us proceed without hindrance. At the entrance to Government Buildings met a smiling young Garda who politely informed us that only one of the group would be allowed inside to hand in the petition, and Frances O’Brien, an outstanding ever-present, did the honours on our behalf.
Odd, isn't it, that where we can march here with the protection of our police while those in places like Tunisia and Libya and Egypt risk being killed by theirs, we don’t bother. I won’t pretend that it wasn’t all, ultimately, a huge disappointment. Of course it was badly planned, badly organised, badly managed, and as chief planner, organiser and manager I take full responsibility for that, but the overall reaction was what really disappointed – a lot of anger out there, but not enough that people are ready to act. Not yet anyway.
The temptation now is to wash my hands completely of this, but no, the original reason for starting this campaign is still there; it’s not whether or not we can afford to pay this massive private debt, it’s the fact that it’s there at all. The thought that the ECB might get away with this obscenity, that parents of special-needs kids suffer cuts so that some of the biggest banks in the world can be paid billions they had lost in a bad investment, that really grates. There is no deduction in your wage slip or your bank statement that states ‘Bondholder subsidy’, but believe me, you're paying it, and you'll pay more. Under the terms of the ECB decree of last November (let’s net even pretend it was any kind of ‘deal’, and the only people bailed out were the bondholders), profitable state assets will HAVE to be sold, more cuts will HAVE to be made, more taxes/levies/stealth taxes will HAVE to be imposed, to meet our mounting debt, a huge chunk of which goes to the bondholders.
We’ve already paid out about €70bn; according to a March 2011 Central Bank report as quoted by respected blogger namawinelake, (given great credit recently by Professor Morgan Kelly in his scathing article in The Irish Times), there is a lot more still outstanding -‘some €7bn of the €73bn (remaining bondholder debt) falls due in 2011, €20bn in 2012, €17bn in 2013 and €29bn in 2014 onwards.’ Are those sums not worth fighting for? (For the full article, hit this link: http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/when-are-bondholders-in-irish-banks-due-to-be-paid/)
When did it become acceptable for banks – even a bank as powerful as the ECB - to dictate to sovereign governments? I'm not into stocks and bonds, have neither the money for it nor the inclination, but I do know that in that cut-throat market one of the immutable laws was that when you made a bad investment (and it’s inevitable that you will), you cut your losses and moved on. That was until the ECB decided that in the case of the Irish banks and their bondholders, the Irish people should instead cover all losing bets, paying not just the original bonds with the original interest that was supposed to accrue, paying not just in addition the interest at which the ECB was borrowing the money to loan to us to pay those bonds (stay with me!), but paying also an additional three percent. I ask anyone – please justify this for me.
The very weakest in our society, those most vulnerable, have been hit hard in the last couple of years to subsidise these billionaire banks – someone please justify that. Even the IMF, dammit, would like to see those bondholders take a short-back-and-sides; and still the ECB dictate.
All over the world the same thing is happening, banks and major financial institutions being bailed out to the tune of billions by the people; it has to stop, someone, somewhere, has to take a stand. Well, that’s us, that’s the Ballyhea Bondholder Bailout Protest. We gave it a run this week and we met the wall – oh, so many walls, not least the wall of silence from our national media. But we will persist. As noted above, this Sunday again - our 14th protest - we march in Ballyhea, 10.30am. We are peaceful, non-party, non-professional when it comes to this sort of stuff, but we will keep going. This is not about making people take notice of Ballyhea, it’s about making people wake up to what’s been done to them and to their own potential to stop it.
‘Whatever you do, do nothing,’ that was a common theme we met on our journey of the last week, as in ‘sure why would you bother protesting, there’s nothing we can do about it’. ‘Whatever you do, do SOMETHING!’, that’s our approach.
Charleville, Banogue, Croom, Patrickswell, Limerick, Birdhill, Nenagh, Toomevara, Moneygall, Roscrea, Borris-in-Ossory, Mountrath, Portlaoise, Monasterevin, Kildare, Newbridge, Naas, Dublin, whether you know it or not this week you've all had your first protest march; to ye, to every other town in the country, we say – get up, get marching, every Sunday at the same time down your main drag, 15 minutes or thereabouts. Get these blood-suckers out of our system and with the quality of the next generation, their confidence, their education, their native intelligence, this country will soar.
Diarmuid O'Flynn.

Posted by Diarmuid O'Flynn at 15:27 (http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com/2011/06/runwalkcycle-to-dail-day-four.html)

BLOG: http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com/ (http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com/) ONLINE PETITION: http://www.petitiononline.com/isntbb11 (http://www.petitiononline.com/isntbb11/petition.html)
TWITTER: @ballyhea14
FACEBOOK PAGE: Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest
June 6th 2011
BALLYHEA BONDHOLDER BAILOUT PROTEST – REAL SACRIFICE, REAL HEROES In Dublin on Saturday last for the Christy Ring final in Croke Park (great win for Kerry, magnificent achievement by John Meyler and his management team but most of all by the players themselves – hurling on the ‘up’ from the Kingdom to the capital!), spent a few hours with my in-laws, Niall and Phil Henderson, in Willow Park Avenue in Ballymun.
Niall and Phil are in their 80s, have lived in Ballymun all of their 50+ married years. You'll know their house immediately, the one with the immaculate front lawn that looks like it’s been cut with a scissors, edged year-round in a colour-fest of flower-beds. Niall’s gardening efforts extend far beyond his own lawns, however, and for many years now he has been tending the community green in front of his house, flowers planted around every tree in the area, the beds kept weed-free. On this day and as I was leaving, he was on his knees in front of one those trees, doing the needful.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YvwFkMgxkF8/Te0gSA5U37I/AAAAAAAAABU/m7_B8qRZD40/s320/Niall+Hendo+4.JPG (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YvwFkMgxkF8/Te0gSA5U37I/AAAAAAAAABU/m7_B8qRZD40/s1600/Niall+Hendo+4.JPG)

Niall and Phil Henderson are the real heroes of this society, of any society. Working all the hours God gave, in his job as a printer foreman with Fodhla Niall supported a family of four; Phil too would have worked outside the home but, through the rules of the day (seems incredible now, doesn’t it?), was forced to give up her Civil Service job when she got married. She kept a good home, however, is still the rock of that family, and all four kids got a damned near perfect upbringing.
A generation behind them, in 1916 Niall’s father Frank, head of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA, was one of the men in the GPO with Pearse and the rest, was also a leading light in the War of Independence; Phil’s father, Denis Begley from Charleville, was a member of Michael Collins’ inner circle during that period, also played an active part in the fight; again, real heroes, who took very real risks with their lives.
We owe those people. We owe those like Frank Henderson and Denis Begley who risked their lives – lost their lives in many instances – to establish this republic; we owe those like Phil and Niall who worked so hard for so long for so little, to get this republic on its feet, and who are now wholly reliant on their pensions; we owe ourselves, our own generation, to ensure that at the very least we hold that which those previous generations fought and worked for; we owe our children, the next generation and the one after that again, to hand on this republic in at least as fine an order as that which was handed to us.
We must stand up NOW to the bully-boys of the ECB, we must tell them - no, no more of your decrees, no more of your crippling diktats, no longer will we honour bonds that we were never party to, that were agreements between private institutions. We must reclaim our sovereignty.
March with us, every Sunday; demand that the deal of last November be rescinded; demand at the very least a referendum before another cent is paid out. Two weeks ago Anglo Irish Bank – a decaying putrid corpse – paid out €200m to unsecured unguaranteed senior bondholders; according to a Central Bank table of March 2011, there is still €64.326bn to be paid, €7bn due this year, €20bn in 2012; to subsidise this kind of madness we have families with special-needs kids who are no longer eating properly, we have an education system being shorn week by week of those who teach the weakest, we have pensioners like Niall and Phil Henderson who are being hit with levies/charges/stealth taxes.
For how much longer can you sit back and tolerate this? We don’t have to risk bomb or bullet to protest, we just have to take to the streets. It’s late in the game and much has already been lost, but it’s not too late. Act now. This Sunday and every Sunday in Ballyhea, 10.30am, a 10-minute march – join us, either in Ballyhea or better yet, in your own community.
Diarmuid O'Flynn.

Fing Fers
08-06-2011, 11:50 PM
Fair play to him, gald he made it. Thats one man who'll sleep we'll for a long time knowing he did something to help matters in this country. As always shame on Irish media, not a peep about it.

The lack of support for these kind of protests is bad, when things really go down the pan and they will, people like Diarmuid might not be interested in protesting anymore.

08-06-2011, 11:56 PM
Well done Diarmuid! Very dispiriting to see how little media coverage a huge effort like this gets.

C. Flower
18-06-2011, 09:51 PM
Ballyhea is marching again tomorrow morning.

Very interesting blog post from Diarmuid on resonances between the Great Famine and today...

http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com/2011/06/great-hunger-parallels.html?showComment=1308424872912#c40433999 66068674319

BALLYHEA BONDHOLDER BAILOUT PROTEST – 16th march this Sunday, 10.30pm
The Great Hunger of 1845 - 1849
I want to give ye a few excerpts from a piece I read lately on The Great Hunger of 1845-1849, the greatest catastrophe in the history of Ireland, a period when millions were allowed die from starvation. Allowed? Yes, allowed to die, by a cynical government in London, because a famine this was not.
We all know about the potato crop failure that began in 1845, continued in 1846, then into black 47, and finally, in 48, but how about this: In the 50 years preceding the famine (sic) up to 200 commissions and special committees were instructed to report on the State of Ireland, and without exception their findings prophesied disaster. Ireland was on the verge of starvation, her population rapidly increasing, three-quarters of her labourers unemployed, housing conditions appalling, and the standard of living unbelievably low. The Governments ignored all these reports.
Does any of that seem familiar in the current circumstances? All the articles by so many leading economists warning of the property crash, the bank crash, the warnings now from many of those same economists of sovereign default if we continue down our current route? Let’s look at another headline from that era.
Evictions were not confined to populations of paupers and squatters living in mud huts. The most notorious instance was the eviction of 300 tenants by Mrs. Gerrard from the village of Ballinglass, Co Galway, on March 13, 1846. A population reasonably prosperous, according to Irish standards, was evicted with the assistance of police and troops, in order that the holdings might be turned into a grazing farm. On the morning of the eviction a large detachment of the 49th Infantry commanded by Captain Brown and numerous police appeared with the Sheriff and his men. The people were officially called on to give up possession and the houses were then demolished - roofs torn off, walls thrown down. The scene was frightful; women running wailing with pieces of their property and clinging to door posts from which they had to be forcibly torn; men cursing, children screaming with fright. That night the people slept in the ruins; next day they were driven out, the foundations of the houses were torn up and razed, and no neighbour was allowed to take them in.
Starvation was everywhere, the general feeling was despair. Fear of famine was in the Irish peoples’ blood. Only too clearly they realised that they were helpless before the fate overtaking them, and turned blindly to those in authority for salvation, but nothing was done.
Again, sound familiar? Potato failure then, bank failure now, and because those banks are still not functioning properly thousands of healthy companies are being forced out of business and hundreds of thousands of workers are thrown into unemployment, while those in authority do nothing.
The grain harvest in Ireland in September was excellent, but it was all exported to England. The people were forced to hand over the corn to pay rent to the landlord. It was notorious that, for the Irish peasant, failure to pay his rent meant eviction.
To people desperate with hunger the sight of food streaming out of the country was once more unbearable. Government food depots and sub-depots were guarded by police and troops. 60,000 tons would have left the country.
Again, parallels; already we have paid billions (perhaps as much as €60bn) to foreign bondholders who placed a losing bet on our banks, and over the next few years – according to our own Central Bank, decreed by the ECB and agreed to by our own government – we will pay another €64.3bn, all borrowed at penal rates from the ECB, while here in Ireland more and more mortgage-holders are in trouble, more and more levies/taxes/cuts are imposed on an already suffering people, the threat now of national assets being sold off to pay these billions.
Black '47
As we enter Black '47, as the year 1847 was called, the paradox of Ireland continued. The people were dying of starvation, whilst shiploads of food were leaving the country under military escort, and merchants were making a small fortune with massive prices.
Which of these years, I wonder, will be our ‘black 47’? Starting two years ago with the blanket bank guarantee, year on year we are being squeezed, the weakest suffering most, while the money-marketeers make massive profits.
Trevelyan thought that famine was the will of God and he hoped that the Catholic priests would explain this to the people. They had no strength left and they believed that is was the will of God that they should die.
Our friends in the ECB speak of ‘moral hazard’, how we as a people must suffer and pay the price for the recklessness of our banks (conveniently ignoring the application of the same principle of ‘moral hazard’ to the bondholders, who make their full profit from their losing bet), and relying on our own government ministers to explain all this to us. We also have our own ‘castle Irish’ still telling us this is our own fault, we all partied, etc. etc. Are we really swallowing all this?
As the famine and fever intensified the minds of the Irish people turned to emigration. In a great mass movement they made their way to America and England. They left their country with hatred in their hearts for the British Government. Historians estimate that more than a million emigrated from Ireland to North America, and about the same amount emigrated to Great Britain. Many emigrated to Canada because the fares were low or the landlords paid their way. They crossed the border into America at the first opportunity.
And yet again, bitter parallels, so many of our youth now following the same trail.
Many letters of appeal from officials and the most responsible people in Ireland were received in London, all pointing out the desperate situation, but Charles Wood, Trevelyan and Lord John Russell were not to be moved.
Has Trichet budged, Merkel, Sarkozy?
The unfortunate masses of destitute were crushed by hunger, and the more prosperous were an inert mass of middle-class Catholic respectability.
I swear, the parallels are more and more frightening.
The visit of Queen Victoria in the first week of August 1849 gave the people a temporary boost but it brought no result.
My God almighty, was this really over 160 years ago? Could I not write almost exactly the same words today, just substitute QE2 for Queen Vic?
Political power remained in the hands of the cabinet, and above all with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Treasury. The poverty of the Irish people continued, dependence on the potato continued. The treatment of the Irish people by the British Government during the famine has been described as genocide, and of wishing to exterminate a race of people.
The cabinet spoken of above is the British cabinet, its equivalent today the EU Council and Commission, the Chancellor is Trichet, and for British Government substitute EU.
It will never be known how many people died during the famine, and historians often come up with different figures. Before the famine the unofficial population was almost 10 million. But in 1851 after the famine it had dropped to 6.5 million. It is safe to say that one million died of starvation and two million emigrated to America and England. The greatest loss of population was in Connaught at 28.6%.
How many will we lose before this is all over? Are we going to sit back again, watch our friends and neighbours suffer, see our children emigrate, or do we fight? Do we learn from history, or do we repeat it?
Ballyhea again this Sunday morning, and every Sunday morning, 10.30am; if you're from Ballyhea, this is your march; if you're from Charleville, from Kilmallock, from Newtown, from Kilfinane, from Milford, from Bruree – wherever else you are from, organise and hold your own march. There was one attempt at revolution during the Great Hunger, in 1848; it died a miserable death in a cabbage patch in Ballingarry, Co. Limerick; don’t let this protest die.
Diarmuid O'Flynn.

Ah Well
02-03-2012, 12:27 AM
Deco is heading for Ballyhea next Sunday?


Sam Lord
02-03-2012, 01:07 AM
Deco is heading for Ballyhea next Sunday?


With any luck the protesters will all wear Che Guevara T-Shirts. :)