Posts Tagged ‘Dail’

Another gem from the British Pathe website showing a Dublin unemployed march from the mid 1950s.

When I first watched the clip, I nearly fell off my chair as the first seconds show something that resembles the Spire in the background. Any idea what it is?

It quickly cuts to a man holding the Starry Plough walking past the GPO who is followed by hundreds of men doing a U – turn at the bottom of O’Connell St. by the bridge and marching back up the other side of the road.

At 18seconds in, the leader of the ‘Dublin Unemployment Association’, Thomas Pearle claps his hand and starts a sit down protest “halting all traffic for half an hour”

One placard reads ‘Get off your knees – March with us’, presumably a reference to the famous labour slogan, “The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise” which has been accredited to many people including James Connolly, Jim Larkin and Max Stirner.

The scene at 31 seconds is quite amazing with both side of O’Connell St. and the bridge blocked. Though it looks like there’s more people observing the demo than there is sitting down!

Jubilant scenes follow when the news is spread that the march will make its way down to the Dail, “the first time such a protest has been held at its gates”.

Dozens of men were charged and fined for causing obstructions by their sit-down protest.

Court told 'wide issues involved', The Irish Times, Saturday, July 11, 1953

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Thanks to WSMIreland on YouTube for uploading this.

While it’s not exactly news to anyone that Enda Kenny is lacking with regards charisma, this performance is baffling even by his own standards. First of all, he’s confronted about the Corrib Gas issue. He responds with ‘budget-speak’ regarding carers and the blind. He’s heard “all about it” apparently.

Anyway, the gold begins at 4.55. A passing firefighter arrives on the scene, and is quizzed by Enda on where his  family are from. “Fair play to ya!” says  Enda. Anyway, needless to say, our friend  is a bit more concerned with the pension levy than the old sod.

Straight to the questions then:

“Do you believe that the Fire Brigade should have the right to strike?”

To which Enda responds…

“I’ll give you the tour around Achill if you’d like”

When grilled on whether or not Fine Gael will remove the pension levy when in Government, Enda hasn’t got an answer, or even a soundbyte. He then tells the man that “maybe you don’t want to hear” all the campaigning I’ve done for you in the Dail, before once again stating “The next time you’re down the west, you give me a shout”

A handful of bemused Shell to Sea activists, one very confused Dublin firefighter, and one very weak Mayo T.D.

Only in Ireland, only on Kildare Street.

Val Falvey is the man.

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