Group seeks 'second republic'

 

“Reform directed and owned by the people,” was the message given at the first meeting of a group seeking to re-establish the state as a second republic.

 

 

Up to 80 people attended the meeting at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin yesterday where a group called The Second Republic debated plans to establish a national people-led convention to re-examine the institutions of politics in Ireland.

Organiser of the event, Oliver Moran said, “We’re looking for the people to be given a chance to come together and to discuss what has gone wrong in the country and to bring that forward into political reform.”

Mr Moran, a political science graduate, who works for a technology company in Cork said, “We can look at the mistakes that were made, but unless we correct the underlying issues, unless we address the failings in governance, these mistakes will happen again.”

The group plans to ask candidates in forthcoming general election to sign up to the pledge of organising a national, convention, independent to the Oireachtas, to “address the failings of governance and institutions that underlie the current crisis.” The group said it was looking for reform that was “radical enough to give people the sense of a new beginning.”

“The people need to be consulted,” Mr Moran said, “Only the people can give the answers.”

Meanwhile a protest based on the Icelandic “pots and pans” movement took place outside the Dáil at 2pm yesterday.

Up to 60 people gathered on Kildare Street banging pots, pans and drums for a period of two hours in opposition to the government’s bail out of the banks.

The protest, which was good-natured, had been promoted through the social networking site, Facebook earlier in the week.

An organiser, who did not wish to be named, said that Saturday’s protest was modelled on a tradition of banging pots and pans begun in Argentina in 2001 when that country faced an economic crisis similar to Ireland. Citizens of Iceland replicated the protest in 2008.

“In Iceland, everyone got on the streets and banged pots and pans. They let their banks fail and they ousted their government. We need to go the same route,” said the organiser who described herself as a social entrepreneur.

“Private banks need to take responsibility for their own debt,” she added.

Pam Minnock who travelled from Newcastle in Wicklow with her daughter Kate to attend the event said, “When I woke up this morning, the one word that came into my head was ‘complacency’.” Ms Minnock said, “We can’t afford to be complacent about statements that are being made on our behalf. It’s my right to come and protest and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Organisers said that a second pots and pans event would take place outside the Dáil at 3pm on Tuesday.

A planned march to the Dáil by homeowners who say that the introduction of a property tax on those who had already paid stamp duty is double taxation, did not take place.