Public Meeting on Anti-austerity: A Quick Reaction

So I attended a public meeting of the United Left Alliance (ULA) this evening in the Wynn’s Hotel on Abbey St. The theme was anti-austerity although there was discussion of abortion legislation and general anti-capitalism in its various guises as well. Speakers included Joan Collins TD, Clare Daly TD,  Tomas O Dulaing, the principal of Griffeen Valley Educate Together school, a representative of the soon to be striking bus drivers, and a number of people from the floor. And funnily enough one of my lecturers was in the audience with me as well. Clare Daly gave a great speech condemning the Government for banishing vulnerable women across the waves just as we once banished them behind the walls of the Magdalene Laundries (I’m paraphrasing her poetic quote, which flowed a bit better and earned some applause, but which I can’t remember fully) with regard to exporting abortion, and Tomais O’ Dulaing gave a good speech too, which he’s said he’ll email me, so I’ll be putting that up here soon enough.

It would take an age to mention all the points, and I probably wouldn’t do them justice off the top of my head (for once I was without my trusty notebook), so I won’t even bother.

Suffice to say I was excited and emboldened to be in the presence of so many people who haven’t settled for austerity (What one man present, suggesting we call spades spades, dubbed ‘enforced poverty’) or oligarchy, or ‘occupation by faceless bureaucrats’ . Where this will all end up, I don’t know, but I’m curious. And from the humor and love in the room more than the indignation, I’m optimistic that some good will come from it. Or maybe Leaving Cert English essays have just trained me to end on a triumphant note whether its justified or not, that tactic always seemed to secure better marks.


  1. Anti Austerity is all fine and well, especially given the inequality that the régime of austerity breeds, however, it is futile if borne out of the same desire of returning to the chase of long term exponential economic growth which is eating our planet’s resources and diminishing our futures along with it!

    1. I agree. Human systems should be serving human needs, not abstracts numbers. There is a correlation sometimes but they are not the same. People talk about ‘human cost’ with regard to austerity as if that was only one factor, but surely human cost is the bottom line. I even saw an article in the Irish Times accusing people of trying to ‘take the morale high ground’ by referring to the suffering austerity is causing. Unsurprisingly the article was written by a former deputy director of the IMF Donal Donovan.

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