Anti-austerity protestors picket Fine Gael breakfast fundraiser
Workers Party councillor says it’s ‘obscene’ to hold fundraiser during period of austerity
About a dozen anti-austerity campaigners held a peaceful protest outside the Imperial Hotel on Friday morning where Dara Murphy, a TD for Cork North Central, was hosting the fundraising breakfast which was addressed by Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald.
Anti-austerity protestors have strongly criticised Minister of State Dara Murphy of Fine Gael for hosting an €85 euro fundraising breakfast in Cork this morning at a time when they say many families are struggling to put food on their tables.
About a dozen anti-austerity campaigners held a peaceful protest outside the Imperial Hotel on Friday morning where Mr Murphy, a TD for Cork North Central, was hosting the fundraising breakfast which was addressed by Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald.
Workers Party Cllr Ted Tynan said hosting an €85 a plate breakfast at a time when the Cork Penny Dinners were never busier helping to feed the poor of the city was “obscene” and showed contempt by Mr Murphy and his party for the people of Cork.
“I think it’s grossly insulting the idea of an €85 euro breakfast as a fundraiser - there are people here in this city working a day or a day and half to earn that as a wage and people are finding it hard to put a decent breakfast on the table for themselves and their children,” said Cllr Tynan.
“And at the same time you have people queuing up over at the Penny Dinners - it’s not nice,” said Cllr Tynan, adding that this was the latest insult from a Government charging people for water after years of austerity.
Anti-Austerity Alliance Cllr Marion O’Sullivan told Cork’s 96FM it was “obscene at a time of continuing austerity that Dara Murphy is having an breakfast in the Imperial Hotel costing €85 - almost as much as a family would spend on weekly groceries.”
Around 150 people attended Mr Murphy’s fundraising breakfast, among them many major figures from the business world in Cork including property developers, Owen O ‘Callaghan and Michael O’Flynn, Port of Cork Chairman, John Mullins and former CAB Bureau Legal Officer, Barry Galvin.
Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald defended her attendance at the fundraising breakfast for Mr Murphy, saying that it was organised by the party in Cork North Central and she had no difficulty supporting a party colleague in their efforts to get re-elected in the next general election.
“I’m very pleased to support Fine Gael colleagues when we have an election coming up - obviously there are very strict rules in relation to fundraisers and clearly all of those rules are strictly adhered to - there’s transparency and accountability in all these events and that applies to this event too.”
“This is an event which complies with all of the standards and all of the rules and obligations with regard to fundraiser and that’s what I have to say - there are very clear rules laid down by the Standards in Public Office and that’s the reality of fundraising today.
“The rules governing fundrasing are very carefully laid out and obviously Fine Gael and every member and every candidate in Fine Gael would comply and does comply totally with those rules.”