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Direct Action Gets Result!

category kerry | worker & community struggles and protests | opinion/analysis author Sunday July 19, 2009 07:33author by Fintán - Workers Solidarity Movement Report this post to the editors

Jarveys in Killarney Strike to Win

Jarvey's in Killarney have had recent success after a row with the National Park and Wildlife services over them refusing to get dung-catchers attached to their horses, which saw them being prevented from entering the park. Following a strike and picket which began on Tuesday morning the 14/07/2009, the Jarvey's received an interim injunction after a high court hearing on Friday last, which has suspended the wearing of the dung-catchers and has seen the Jarvey's returning to work as normal.

Resist to win, Roll over and Lose!! Jarveys show the way..
Resist to win, Roll over and Lose!! Jarveys show the way..

Over the past week in Killarney a dispute occurred between the local Jarvey's and the NPWS (National Park and Wildlife Service), where the authorities had prevented the Jarvey's from entering into the park if they did not wear "Dung-catchers" attached to their horses. Barriers were placed in front of the national park, preventing the Jarveys from entering until they had all fully agreed with the NPWS's orders. The outraged Jarveys, whose livelihood was put under threat, came out in numbers picketing the entrance to the National park beginning last Tuesday morning, once they discovered bollards preventing them from entering their place of work. Following 3 days of picketing by the Jarveys and supporters they managed to force the NPWS to remove the Barriers and work to continue as usual. The case was heard in the High Court on Friday, where 27 Jarveys were granted an interim injunction preventing the NPWS from obstructing their entrance into the National Park. Following the strike, their work was permitted to continue operating as normal until October, according to one of the Jarveys. At the same time the NPWS are pushing for a sooner hearing date.

The Jarvey's argue that these equine nappies, as they are so-called, cause problems for the horse as they lead to rubbing against the animal's hind legs which would cause the Horse to bolt and lead to accidents. The men, whose trade has endured one-hundred years in the National Park, have voiced this concern amongst others to these authorities, but has been dismissed on the grounds that the Horse crap is unhygienic, unsightly and not good for local tourism. The NPWS also ridiculously claim that the removal of the dung from the roads is also a waste of Tax-Payers money, but the employment of Security and rangers who persistently hassle young people in particular "loitering" in some areas of the park, and the recent instalment of the advanced CCTV system equipped with nightvision and a loudspeaker isn't??!! The Jarveys also argue that even with the use of the bags the disposal of the horse crap is still an issue, as the designated collectors will not be able to accumulate and dispose of all of the dung.

For decades the Jarvey's have worked in the Park, drawing many tourists to the Killarney region by providing guided tours around the vast park and the Lakes. Being one of the main tourist activities in the town, the Jarveys have added greatly to the level of tourism in the area from which the local Capitalist elite has benefited from greatly. The fact that the livelihood of these people had been threatened over a petty issue such as horse sh*t, (which is a natural occurrence anyway, and could be in fact simply used to fertilise some of the many plants and trees by the roadside in the park), and attempting to restrain the Jarvey's from working during their most busiest time of the year, is a typical example of the level of apathy and uncaring nature expressed by the authorities towards the livelihood of those people whom they exploit. The impression that can be drawn of the attitudes of those whom oppose the Jarvey's on this issue can be reduced in the simplest form to " oh, we like your horses for our tourists, but we don't want any of that unsightly horse dung that comes with it. It damages the artificial image we wish to sell our clients, so no-more on the roads or else..."
In the face of losing their jobs, the Jarvey's bravely stood up against the authority who wished to impose something on them, which they did not want. They refused to lower their position to meet the wishes of some nose-pinching group of individuals and did not concede against their wishes. This level of determination and example of people power by collective "disobedience" as a means of making an authority seriously reconsider, is something we should all take note of, especially with the current state of affairs in Ireland, where we have a vicious assault on ordinary people at the hands of the Irish state, making people, especially those who can't afford it, to pay for their mistakes, and bail out their accomplices. The Jarvey's did not write letters or sign petitions begging the NPWS to take their concerns into account, instead they came out in numbers, refused to work and voiced clearly their disapproval. And Guess what! The authorities had no option but to listen.

Direct action gets RESULTS!!

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0714/killarney.html
author by Breanainnpublication date Mon Jul 20, 2009 08:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

shouldn't this be titled court action gets results? the picket achieved nothing other than bad feeling and the harassment of people trying to enter the park

author by Courses for Horsespublication date Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is it such a precidament to pick s*%t up off the road. Its unslightly, smelly and dangerous. yes it is natural, but so is human faeces, but you don't see people willing to let it all down the main thoroughfair of the street. I agree with some sentiments of the article in that it should be used as fertilizer for the beautiful town but it seems that lazyness is more to do with the problem than anything. Farmers are expected to clear roadways when the come from mucky fields (whether they do it or not is another thing), as for developers so why not pick it up and have the rules apply to everyone. I'm sure in this day and age there are sufficient crap traps that don't harm the horse, and if they're isn't it just shows that people who use horses in such a way don't car e enough to ensure that such is available.

author by P O Connell - Jarvey's Vivapublication date Mon Jul 20, 2009 18:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Its good to hear other workers are willing to make a stand in these "recession" times. It was disturbing last week to hear peoples critcism of the electricians action. Like we should be grateful for the economic situation we are in, cause it could be worse, and we better not rock the boat too much. This defeatist attitude will not help improve our world.. Not only should we not have this ambush against our livelihoods(bank bail outs etc.). We should be in control of our own economic desicions. When did we last get a say on where our taxes went.. I know I can think of alot more people who need the money now then gangster politicians or gardai on overtime siegeing communitys. Fighting over scraps on the table of our masters, kicking each other out of the boat while these capitalist criminals ride on a cruise liner..With memories of Waterford Crystal and Visteon and current stands by the electricians and Jarvey's. These kind of collective actions are needed everywhere. They set us on the right path towards taking control back of our society from the hands of the few.. we hold together this society, making it run, yet we allow ourselves to be conned with the notion that we need these politicians and investors.. When is the last time Brian Cowen milked a cow or drove a bus.. Or Tony O reilly built a school or (told the truth in his papers). WE dont need these people to make decisions for us..WE run society already and could make it a much better world if we take decision making back down to a community level.. Resist to Win. Rollover and Lose.
P.S. Reason we have horse shit on the ground and not human shit is because whens the last time you saw a toilet being built for horses. Being a local of the area i can say that the amount of shit in the area is being exagerated. And to pretend horse shit doesnt happen, is like living in a disney movie set in the killarney lakes. Its part of life, and attaching bags will not solve anything but simply move the shit elsewhere. And if that elsewhere was in your back garden im sure you would oppose these dung catchers tambíen. Vale Salud

author by Fintanpublication date Mon Jul 20, 2009 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can You please explain why you personally feel why it should be titled interim injunction gets result as opposed to direct action?
You wrongly claim that that the direct action resulted only in people getting harrassed and prevented entry to the park and "bad Feeling", but the facts are that this harrasment upon people, who were just the Jarvey's, was the reason why the strike and picket took place. Also if it had not been for the fact that the Jarvey's had came out in numbers against this as they quite rightly did, and adopted the stategy of direct action,then there wouldn't even have been a court hearing never mind a ruling in their favour.
And the "Bad Feeling".. Can you please explain what exactly you mean by this vague statement? the only bad feeling here was expressed by those who opposed the idea of people sticking up for themselves while under threat from a governing authority and defending collectively their shared livelihood.
If you are criticising the method of direct action carried out by these men, can you please inform the Jarvey's on a more effective way of defending themselves from attack?

author by Breanainnpublication date Tue Jul 21, 2009 08:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bad feeling is simple, a small number of the jarveys are aggressive in their daily sales tactics, however when they started picketing the park they got far worse, they were abusive to those entering the park and a number of people i talked with were threatened personally while going for a walk or trying to drive into the park during the picket. while i completely agree with their right to picket, i also feel others should be free to enter the park free of harassment i personally heard a picketing jarvey warning a local sports writer (never writes about anything else) get threatened while walking into the park with his kids that he better be very careful what he writes in his newspaper. this is wrong and has brought a lot of bad feeling towards the picketers.

i dont agree with their protest i think they like everyone else should clean up after themselves, if my dog shits in the park or town and i dont clean it up i quite rightly can be fined, same rules should apply to those making money from their enterprise if not more stringent ones

author by Damienpublication date Mon Aug 03, 2009 01:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whilst I would never cross a picket line having been on one myself, it is beyond ridiculous that these guys can hold the park to ransom. In other cities in Europe horses wear these nappys with no bother to them. Whats the problem here???

author by Sue Lordpublication date Tue Oct 20, 2009 02:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was visiting Ireland and on our tour we were scheduled to see Muckross Garden. We had taking a Jaunting Car Ride several days prior and enjoyed it a great deal. Because of the strike, we were unable to visit Muckross Garden as our tour guide was instructed not to cross the picket line. In the US, we have many cities that have horse drawn carriages. All that I have seen have a collection "box" so that no one is left with a mess to contend with. In an area where people are strolling with children, riding bikes, rollerblading, etc. I think it is important to clean up. The jarveys are being paid. It seems to me they should either stop & clean up after the horse, or use a collection system.

Hope to see Muckross Gardens some day. Ireland is such a beautiful country

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