Irish journalist Diarmuid O’Flynn has started his 153-mile run from Ballyhea, County Cork to the Government building in Dublin to deliver his anti-bondholder petition to the Dail (Parliament).
O’Flynn the Irish Examiner newspaper’s chief hurling journalist has been organizing weekly protest against the terms of the terms of the EU / IMF bailout in his home town of Ballyhea since the beginning of 2001.
After months of protests he decided that he needed to undertake a more dramatic gesture or a “last hurrah” has he told the TheScore.ie. On Tuesday morning he set off to Dublin to deliver his petition.
He said “I’ve been so wrapped up in this from a personal point of view that I felt I had to do something.
“Like lots of people, I was just complaining for months. I voted for the new government in the hope that they might take a stronger line but they’re already caving in.”
He admitted that his “body is in poor repair” and “the joints are badly rusted” but that has not stopped him. The run will take him three days stopping in Nenagh, Portlaoise and arriving in Dublin on Thursday. His “last hurrah” will conclude on Friday after with a march from the Garden of Remembrance, on Parnell Square to Dail Eireann (Irish Parliament) on Kildare Street.
So far, he admits, “the response has been extremely disappointing so far.” However he is hopeful that his run will help the protest to gather momentum. En route he plans to stop in towns to gather supports and explain the petition.
The petition asks “for this deal to be undone [...] for those bondholders to be treated now as they should have been treated then, with whatever consequences they have to suffer.”
“At the very least, we petition for a referendum on this deal, that the Irish people may themselves decide whether or not it’s acceptable that they should now be saddled with this debt.”
Once his protest on Friday afternoon is over he said he will return home to Ballyhea. He said “I’ve a job and a wife and kids…There comes a time when you have to realize what the really important things are in life.”