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Cork May Day March – Report & Photos

category cork | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Thursday May 01, 2008 22:52author by Ray - Cork WSM (pers. cap.) - May Day Marcher Report this post to the editors

A colourful sight on the city streets to gladden any conscious worker's heart!

This year’s march organised under the auspices of the Independent Workers’ Union paraded proudly and successfully through the streets of our city, both commemorating workers’ stuggles of the past and looking to the future – a future hopefully starred with victories for the working class over the tyranny of rapacious heartless Capital.
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The marchers assembled at Lapp’s Quay and set off late, at a quarter to eight, for some Garda ‘reason’ or other. The 200-strong (my estimate) march proceeded to Daunt Sq. via Parnell Place, Merchants’ Ouay and Patrick St. Along the way the march stopped at various points along the route, where speakers (IWU General Sec. Noel Murphy, poet and socialist Diarmuid Ó Dálaigh and Cork Women’s Right to Choose’s Mary Favier) recalled some events, persons and places from Cork city’s history that were important in the struggle of labour in Ireland and worldwide.

At Daunt Sq. the marchers were addressed by Councillor Mick Barry of the Socialist Party, IWU General Sec. Noel Murphy, Rosie Meade of the Free the Old Head of Kinsale campaign and Margeret O’Regan of the IWU May Day organising committee.

After the speeches, the band Ilya K struck up tune and blasted out May Day celebration to the assembled throng. Decks are also set up and the workers’ playtime on the city streets will continue for a few hours yet, in now time-honoured Cork May Day fashion.

The display of banners and general colour gave this year’s version of the parade an edge over previous years’ parades, and the sight of the parade will hopefully give workers in Cork and further afield courage in these times that the rich of our world intend to make tougher for our class. The parade gave a little piece of joy to carry forward into the future struggles that surely lie ahead.

Many thanks is due to the IWU May Day Committee for putting in a marvellous effort in organising this year’s event – it certainly paid off and this year has demonstrated the vibrancy and the indefatigability of the radical left in the city.

Oh, and speaking of indefatigable, Cork’s own veteran protestor Pat ‘the Picket’ Allen was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the IWU May Day Committee tonight at the celebratory May Day do in the Spailpín Fánach, to mark forty years of Pat’s inimitable style of public protest. It was a gesture to show him some little mark of appreciation by his friends in Cork for his persistence in staying at the ‘bleeding edge’ of public life for so long. Long may he remain there, and in his mad costumes too!

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author by Ray - Cork WSM (pers. cap.) - May Day Marcherpublication date Thu May 01, 2008 22:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More from the May Day march.

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author by Ray - Cork WSM (pers. cap.) - May Day Marcherpublication date Thu May 01, 2008 22:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

May Day! I love it !!

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author by Ray - Cork WSM (pers. cap.) - May Day Marcherpublication date Thu May 01, 2008 23:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A day rich in meaning, from Bealtaine to the Haymarket Martyrs of Chicago in 1886 to today.

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author by Ray - Cork WSM (pers. cap.) - May Day Marcherpublication date Thu May 01, 2008 23:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And don't ye worry - we'll all be back next time! Maybe see you there too?!

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author by Nikitapublication date Thu May 01, 2008 23:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Looks like it was fun!

Much better than the Dublin one anyways, that was like a funeral march. Maybe 300 at it but they all looked bored and it was eerily quiet.

author by Fintan Lanepublication date Thu May 01, 2008 23:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah, looks great! Good to see all the auld faces out...and a few new ones as well.

Well done Cork.

author by Goldypublication date Fri May 02, 2008 02:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At any rate they enjoyed themselves. I'd say, however, that a bunch of about fifty people marching behind a Workers Solidarity Movement banner doesn't amount to much of a 'movement'. Where were all the other workers in the city on the day? In cafes, kitchens and workplaces scanning the Indo and British tabloids, especially the racing pages, instead of buying wholesome anarchist or trotskyist comment periodicals? And five or six young women (students?) demanding the legalisation of abortion - where were all the other married women of the city? Thinking about the birds and the bees? Good that the organisers made a lifetime achievement award to Pat the Picket, though. Pat surely puts some cheer and imagination into his protests on the Old Head and other issues. Life would be much duller without Pat. And Cork Mayday beats Dublin for atmosphere.

author by historianpublication date Fri May 02, 2008 09:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps turning what is supposed to be the traditional workers day into a pro abortion march is not the way to go. Just a thought.

author by John Jefferies - Workers Partypublication date Fri May 02, 2008 09:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ray you beat it to me this morning but here are a few more photos from yesterday evening's Cork May Day march.

Might the witchdoctor be better than the HSE?
Might the witchdoctor be better than the HSE?

Workers Party and IWU on Merchant's Quay
Workers Party and IWU on Merchant's Quay

Free the Old Head of Kinsale!  John Maguire and Rosie Meade (left of banner)
Free the Old Head of Kinsale! John Maguire and Rosie Meade (left of banner)

Cork Women's Right to Chose group
Cork Women's Right to Chose group

Cllr. Mick Barry, Socialist Party on Parnell Place
Cllr. Mick Barry, Socialist Party on Parnell Place

author by Black Guardpublication date Fri May 02, 2008 09:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The organising group for May Day in Cork put in a lot of work over the last while and it paid off. Well done to them.

author by Puzzledpublication date Fri May 02, 2008 15:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting to see the Independent Workers Union marching in favour of legalising abortion. Is the membership aware that this is policy? Wonder what the Home Helps Branch think of this. In the IWU charter it promises full transparency to membership.

author by Bikerpublication date Fri May 02, 2008 18:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's a May Day march, lots of group brought their banners. The IWU were there in their own right. Now begone troll. I suppose you'd prefer to keep women back in the Middle Ages with their fertility controlled by unmarried priests.

author by Redpublication date Fri May 02, 2008 18:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Abortion rights are a workers issue. If you can't control your body how can you control your life, your workplace, your family? Abortion rights should be a part of the workers movement in general. Women's issues are workers' issues.

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