Movement spreads to Galway's Eyre Square


SEVEN TENTS erected at the top of Eyre Square over the weekend mark “OccupyGalway” – the latest in a series of peaceful protests in Ireland criticising capitalism, the global economic crisis and inequality.

About two dozen supporters sheltered from southerly squalls and driving rain yesterday as they explained that the camp had been established at noon on Saturday, in support of the OccupyWallStreet movement in New York and similar protests in 1,500 other cities including Dublin and Cork.

The stated aims including tackling economic inequality and seeking accountability and justice, along with opposition to privatisation of natural resources. The group says it wants to see taxpayers’ money put into hospitals, schools and public services, instead of banks and investors.

The group has no hierarchical structure, has set up a Facebook page and Twitter account – with the social media links attracting a very mixed, and sometimes critical, reaction.

“In general, the reaction of passers-by has been great, and we only wish the people talking on Facebook would come down and join us,” chef Gillen Hardesty from Renmore and Sean Maguire, from the Galway-Mayo border, said.

“People have offered us food, we’ve been offered the use of toilets, the gardaí kept the drinkers away last night, and the public have been very positive,” they said.

“There is a huge anger and frustration out there and people don’t know what to do because they feel that the International Monetary Fund, rather than the government, is running the country,” they said.