Over 110,000 people took to the streets to protest bank debts

Louise and Ella O'Donnell
IMPACT national secretary Louise O’Donnell and her granddaughter Ella, at the #feb9demo in Cook Street, Dublin Photo: Constanze O’Toole

More than 110,000 people took part in the demonstrations across the country on Saturday, in protest at the country’s continuing bank debtburden.IMPACT members joined the protest in large numbers. Lots of individual branches, and their banners, were very visible on the day in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Sligo. It was very clear that all branches made a significant effort to encourage and support
members to join the rallies.

Over 60,000 people took part in the Dublin protest, while at least 15,000 turned out in Cork, 13,000 in Waterford, 10,000 in Limerick, 7,000 in Sligo and 5,000 in Galway. Details of IMPACT members attendance at the rallies are still coming in, but we have confirmed 800 in Cork, 700 in Galway and up to 2,000 in Limerick.

The general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu), David Begg, told protestors at a rally in Dublin’s Merrion Square that bank debt problem had not been solved by the recent deal. He vowed Congress would continue its bank debt campaign until the link between private bank debt and national debt was clearly broken. “If you read some papers yesterday you would think we had achieved economic salvation and our problems were over. Nothing could be further from the truth. And we have over 100,000 thousand people on the streets of Ireland today who feel the same way.

“New deal, same problem: 1.8 million people cannot possibly pay of a bank debt burden of €64 billion – especially a debt they played no part in running up. There is nothing fair about this deal.“We saved  the European banking system in 2008, an act of extraordinary solidarity with Europe – now we want some solidarity in return,” Mr Begg said. He pointed out that Ireland had already paid some €41 billion for the banking crisis, more than Germany, the UK, Spain or Portugal. “So far, every Irish person has paid €9000, while the average across the EU is €192. That is neither fair nor just” he said.

#feb9demo ‘Lift the Burden – Jobs not Debt’

The rallies also heard personal testimonies from people affected by the crisis from all around the country.

A selection of images from across the rallies on Saturday (click thumbnail for larger image, or view our Flickr slideshow HERE)