Tiny Irish village draws major media as they protest bank bailout
Ballyhea continues marching against banks and bondholders every week
The people in a small Cork village who march every week against the bailout of Irish banks are starting to draw major media attention.
A lengthy article in the Guardian Newspaper, Britain’s most influential, described the weekly walk by concerned villagers in the rustic town of Ballyhea.
Described by the Guardain as a village “in the middle of nowhere, where nothing happens;” nonetheless, the town is starting to draw major attention.
The organizer of the weekly march is former New York resident Diarmuid O’Flynn, a sports writer with the Cork Examiner newspaper.
Every Sunday without fail, rain or shine the villagers march in large numbers.
“Ballyhea may be quiet, but it's angry,” reported Guardian journalist Homa Khalell.
The march has taken place for 43 weeks straight and O’Flynn says he has no intention of stoppping.
“Personal wealth has been destroyed, thousands of people are sinking into poverty, emigration has returned and unemployment is far too high,” he told The Guardian.
“Where is the money going to come from?" he asks. "Our banks are bust. So it's going to come from us."
Morgan Kelly, professor of economics at University College, Dublin, the lone economist to predict the crash has said the true cost of the bank debt could amount to €100bn and warned: "Ireland is facing economic ruin."
Flynn says he was inspired by the Arab spring and he says the reaction of local people has been tremenduous,
"We are not trying to save the world," O'Flynn told the paper. "And it is not about the left and right. It is about right and wrong."
"We are a pretty dignified people," says O'Flynn. "So I thought,'Have it dignified and quiet;' just the fact we are marching – just let our feet do the talking."
Denis McNamara, a local businessman and farmer, said he agreed.
"I don't object to the fiscal adjustments in the economy; we can't spend more than we earn. What I do totally object to is repaying the bond-holders – who we had no responsibility for. We object to the government, without any consultation with the people, securing the money owed to those people [the bond-holders]."
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