The following statement was issued to the media in Cork this morning, on behalf of Cork’s ‘for DEMOCRACY!’ group.
A serious issue arises from the weekend’s events in Cork that should concern everyone. A concerted effort was made by officials claiming to represent Cork City Council to stop the activities of the ‘for DEMOCRACY!’ group. The group have organised an Anti-Austerity / Pro-Democracy stall in Patrick’s Street every Saturday for nearly a year, distributing leaflets and speaking with the public.
On Saturday, in successive incidents, up to six individuals approached the group’s information table to demand that the leaflet distribution stop, also demanding that the group stop speaking with the public. Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, spokesperson for the group, said that “despite being advised that we were entitled to be on the street the officials demanded that we ‘move on’, they claimed authority from Cork City Council for doing so.”
At one stage the speaker at the stall was man-handled while addressing the public, at other stages the officials lined up in front of the stall, face to face with members of the group – invading personal space in a threatening manner.
Ó Cadhla said, “Thankfully the Gardaí came to the scene and after some discussion they advised the officials that we were acting within our rights and our work continued uninterrupted.”
Mr. Ó Cadhla says that the ‘for DEMOCRACY!’ group will be lodging an official complaint and is already in contact with City Hall in this regard.
Ó Cadhla said “apparently City Council decided that last Saturday was a ‘festive day’ and for ‘fun’, our likes were not wanted … street performance was organised for entertainment and public money spent on it.”
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla noted that “the incidents on Saturday follow a number of earlier attacks on our work against Austerity made by Councillors and Management at City Hall”. He continued, “whether these incidents are related or just some officials ‘going maverick’, it remains a most serious matter – either way we want clarification and an apology from City Council”.
Mr. Ó Cadhla asked “Why does City Council feel it should stop citizens discussing the lack of democracy in our country/city and the unjust imposition of policy on the people?”
He also asked “Why does City Council feel that the people of Cork need more ‘festive’ and ‘fun’ days while so many thousands of families are facing destitution?”
Given that the Constitutional role of Local Government is to provide a “forum for the democratic representation of local communities” why isn’t City Council providing such a forum for the people? rather than distract them with trivia and try to silence anyone who speaks out?
Diarmaid Ó Cadhla 086-3805005
Cork for DEMOCRACY! c/o Ionad an Phobail, 99 Sráid na Dúghlaise, Corcaigh.
Note: It is understood that the event organising was undertaken by a Dublin based company, Emergent Events, who were sponsored and assisted by Cork City Council
The Irish Technology Leadership Group will gather global CEOs and leading Irish executives in some of the world’s biggest technology companies in Cork in January in a Gathering-themed shindig. The aim will be to help local tech companies and entrepreneurs succeed on the global stage.
Cork’s renown as a technological hub has spread globally. The company has been home to international operations of Apple, EMC, IBM, Trend Micro, Big Fish Games and many more through the year, its reputation for software, hardware, electronics, e-business and wireless technology second to none.
In previous years the ITLG’s ‘Silicon Valley Comes to Ireland’ events were staged in Dublin, Belfast and Limerick and now its Cork’s turn. This year’s summit will be truly global with technology leaders from Europe, China, Russia, India and across the Americas in attendance.
Cork City Council, Cork Chamber, UCC and CIT have partnered with the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) to bring this international event to Cork event on 21 and 22 January as part of The Gathering 2013.
Confirmed speakers include Craig Barrett, ITLG chairman and former chairman and CEO of Intel Corp.; Barry O’Sullivan, senior VP Cisco; Liam Casey, CEO PCH; James Herlihy, MD Deutsche Bank; Sean O’Donoghue, CTO Madison Square Garden; Rory McInerney, Intel; and Una Fox, VP Disney among others.
Opportunities for entrepreneurs
The event will include ‘fast pitch’ sessions for entrepreneurs, business start-ups and innovative businesses to pitch for investment, a technology showcase, University Challenge award and Technology Leaders Summit as well as a gala networking dinner. Companies should apply now to take part in the ‘pitch-camp’ sessions.
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. John Buttimer said: “Cork has strong business links with Silicon Valley and we are delighted to deepen our relationship with US industry leaders while showcasing all that Cork has to offer in terms of a centre of excellence for innovation and commercialisation of new research as well as a great place to invest as a gateway to Europe.
“We are delighted to welcome the Irish Technology Leadership Group to Cork for the Silicon Valley comes to Ireland event,” Buttimer said.
Indigenous companies in the fields of mobile technologies, cloud, biotech and convergent pharma, nanotechnology and renewable energies among others will be invited to pitch their business ideas to the international delegation of investors and seasoned entrepreneurs.�
“We are looking forward to seeing Ireland’s most innovative and disruptive technologies at the ‘fast pitch’ sessions to be held at the Global Technology Leaders Summit in Cork,” said John Hartnett, CEO ITLG.
“Those interested in pitching for investment from the global business leaders and investors should embrace the opportunity of the ITLG Silicon Valley comes to Ireland event and get in touch with us immediately”, Hartnett recommended.