Oil and gas giveaway highlighted while government seek to make unfair cuts.
On Saturday 27th November Shell to Sea delegates travelled to Tullamore Co. Offaly to participate in a “People’s Alliance” march against cuts and the government in general.
The snow and ice in the west gave way to beautiful winter sunshine in Tullamore with dry roads underfoot. By 2pm about 150 people had gathered near the bridge. The march set off through the town centre to chants of “Cowen, Cowen Cowen, Out, Out, Out!” This seemed a radical development given the march was taking place just down the road from Brian Cowen’s home-place of Clara, where he was still revered until recently.
After half an hour the march pulled into a town centre car park for a few speeches. In the first speech local man Anthony O’Sullivan spoke on the unjustness of the bank bail-out, IMF intervention and dismal prospects for young people in Ireland, including himself, if we don’t intervene.
Afterwards Shell to Sea campaigner Finbarr Cafferkey from Mayo gave a speech highlighting the insanity of the continued giveaway of hundreds of billions worth Irish oil and gas resources to multinational companies like Shell, Statoil and Vermillion while unfair cuts are being introduced. He also gave some background on the health & safety, environmental and human rights aspects of the campaign.
More speeches were to follow, including from Mandy Bloomer a single mother and a local woman Ann Hughes who cares for her daughter Debbie. Both speakers said that cuts to their allowances would make their vital care work economically impossible to continue.
The final speech came from James Delaney - a young local man who emphasised the lack of opportunities facing his generation and that the leadership that young people look for was not there.
After the speeches the group headed back to Fergie’s Bar on Market Square for tea and finger food and plenty chat.
It was really great to meet the people of Tullamore and see so many people willing to get pro-active about their country and futures. Is this happening in other towns around the country?
The People’s Alliance stems from a facebook page idea of one woman’s anger regarding the government bailout of the banks. From there it grew to the extent that she handed the site and ideas over to a group of like-minded local people. This group adopted the name People’s Alliance, which grew in numbers as an outlet for an increasing number of concerned citizens against pending budget cuts to middle low income families, health and education on December 7th 2010. Facing the current economic climate People’s alliance is calling for an election prior to a new budget.