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Ógra Shinn Féin activist Injured by State car at IMF protest
Monday November 22, 2010 00:20 by Sparky - Ógra Shinn Féin
Ógra activist Injured by State car at IMF protest
There were scenes of anger at Leinster House today in a protest involving Dublin Sinn Féin members in conjunction with local Ógra members. A sizeable contingent of Sinn Féin and Ógra activists gathered outside Government buildings to coincide with the request by the Fianna Fáil/Green Government for a European and IMF bailout.
After an emergency Cabinet meeting lasting several hours in Dublin and talks with EU states, ministers signed off on plans for the rescue package. Ógra Shinn Féin members picketed Government buildings, while just yards away, IMF officials were dropped off at the local hotel by official state cars.
Eventually, Government ministers were driven to the gates when Sinn Féin and Ógra activists staged a peaceful sit-down protest. A number Gardaí employed heavy handed tactics in an effort to move the protestors, while another Garda motioned for the state cars to continue on their path, with one state car, reportedly that of a Senior Minister running over the leg of a young Ógra Shinn Féin activist. The top of the range state car moved away at high speed down a laneway. An ambulance quickly arrived and the Ógra member was brought to hospital.
Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson Dáithí Byrne criticized both the Government and the Gardaí who interfered with the peaceful sit-down protest;
'Today's developments has created huge anger in this country. We have, effectively, been bought and sold. The government has ran up the white flag of surrender to the IMF/EU who are notorious for their utter contempt for the rights of working class people. Already, within hours, the government is dancing to their tune, with rumours of cuts to the minimum wage and social welfare. Surely we cant be blamed in that context for protesting?'
"The Gardaí dealt with the peaceful protest irresponsibly today. The heavy handed tactics employed effectively resulted in a hit and run incident which seen a dedicated Ógra Shinn Féin activist sustain an injury. The events today, couple with those which took place at the recent national student march, demonstrate the widespread anger but also the low tolerance for peaceful protest."