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
St Patrick’s Day celebrations around the world are facing an uncertain future following today’s announcement by the Irish Government that it has sold the popular saint, and his associated festival day, to Germany in a desperate bid to reduce Ireland’s crippling national debt.
Saint Patrick, who has been Ireland’s national saint for over 1500 years and who is believed to be the only Irish cleric in history not to have been implicated in a child sex abuse scandal, was sold at an EU auction last night for the sum of €7.3 million, according to Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.
‘I understand that people might be upset about this, but Saint Patrick has not exactly done a lot of good for us over the years,’ said the Taoiseach. ‘Okay, so he got rid of the snakes for us, but quite frankly if it was a choice between no snakes or saving the country from being repeatedly invaded and ravaged, having half the population die in a famine and then the nation being left virtually bankrupt from a global financial crisis, then I, for one, would happily be arse-deep in anacondas right now.’
Early reports suggest that Saint Patrick will be relaunched as a new German folk character, ‘Der Leprakaun Fuhrer’, a vagabond who once ruled a faraway land which based its entire economy around transactions of magic beans which subsequently disappeared and left the country in economic ruin.
German minister, Franz Hagen, has told those who have planned St Patrick’s Day events not to worry. ‘St Patrick’s Day, or Heinzellmannchanfest as it will be called from now on, will be going ahead almost as normal this year, except that it will now be used to teach the world about the importance of efficiency and economic responsibility. As such, there will be no alcohol allowed,’ he added.
Following the success of the sale, the Irish Government is considering selling more of its national assets to further reduce its debt woes. The Netherlands have already expressed an interest in purchasing some of the Donegal mountains in an effort to make their country less flat and prone to flooding, while North Korea is said to be interested in buying County Leitrim to prove to its citizens that there are actually worse places on Earth to live. However, the Irish Government is still struggling to find a potential buyer for Bono after the U2 singer failed to reach his reserve price of nearly €5 at last night’s auction.
I suspect it is the biggest parade in the far East. All monies raised go to local charities.
See video below.
Some photos from the event.
A lady from Brazil
Young George from the Tara Court
What better way to celebrate this fine St. Patrick’s Day than to roll up a nice fatty and smoke the true green weed that represents the chronicles of Ireland. In fact, the main ingredient used to give beer its flavor is not very different from our favorite, Cannabis. Hops or Humulus lupulus are female flower clusters (dioceses flowers in fact) that when put into the right concoction of wheat, barley, etc… creates what we know today to be beer. Yes beer, the same chemical that was put through prohibition in the 1920′s and that is legal today (especially today), is almost the same exact herb as that of cannabis. If we were to look at plant divisions then hops and cannabis are a short toss apart. Both are in the Class: Magnoliopsida, the Order: Rosales, Family: Cannabaceae… so in short, we are looking at two sisters who have tremendous potentials. If only… For your pleasure though, I have placed some of the finest pictures of green in order to keep the Leprechaun’s out of your stash.
– The owners of an Irish pub in northeast Florida said they were shocked to receive a citation for flying the Irish flag but have removed it to comply with a local ordinance banning commercial display of non-U.S. flags.
The four sisters who own Culhane’s Irish Pub in Atlantic Beach said Friday they would apply for a temporary permit allowing them to at least fly the green, white and orange Irish flag on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
“St. Patrick’s Day is huge for us,” said Aine Culhane, who owns the pub with sisters Mary Jane, Michelle and Lynda.
They showed Reuters a copy of a citation issued by code enforcement officers for the City of Atlantic Beach on February 20, giving them 24 hours to “cease display of flags other than American flag.”
The Culhanes said they had flown an Irish flag and an American flag on the front of their pub for eight years and were unaware of the ordinance.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Aine Culhane said. “We never break the law. We were just shocked and kind of sad that we couldn’t hang the flag … Everybody is upset about it.”
City officials did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment. Acting Mayor Maria Mark told television station WTLV that the city council was reconsidering the ordinance but she doubted any changes could be approved before St. Patrick’s Day.
The Culhane sisters are from Shanagolden in County Limerick and have owned the pub since 2005. Michelle and Mary Jane are naturalized U.S. citizens and Lynda and Aine are in the United States on visas, they said.
“We’re definitely living the American dream. We love it here. We’re proof that anybody can do it We came here knowing no one,” Aine said.
But being forced to remove the flag of their homeland was an insult, Michelle said.
“The large contingent of Irish immigrants who fought for this country in numerous wars cannot be treated like this,” she said. “Our flag is woven from the fabric of many proud nations and should never be discounted by the pettiness of a few narrow minded council members.”