After five years marching, Ballyhea says No more

Weekly protest in Co Cork parish ends against bank bailout

The final Ballyhea march against the bank bailout. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The final Ballyhea march against the bank bailout. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

 

A hundred people gathered in Ballyhea, Co Cork on Sunday to mark the town’s last rally against the decision to hold the Irish taxpayer culpable for bank debt.

For the past five years, locals have been walking in protest at the bank bailout holding a simple sign which reads, Ballyhea/Charleville says No to bondholder bailout.

Each march lasts just 10 minutes and generally takes place around Mass times in the parish.

The marchers gathered on Sunday at Ballyhea church amid inclement weather conditions. They were joined by politicians Luke Ming Flanagan, Catherine Murphy and Liadh Ní Riada.

Organiser Diarmuid O’Flynn said he was heartened by the turnout on the final day of the march. “It’s a bad morning so I am really pleased. We have to continue the fight. I am pleading with our media to look at the issues again.

“The promissory note went off the agenda. We had about 20 to 40 people who came out every week for the five years. The regulars included an older couple who should have been able to spend Sundays with their grandkids. The growth of friendships has been extraordinary. We have met fantastic people. During my election campaign, people knew about the Ballyhea march at the doors so the recognition was there.”

The marches in Ballyhea have been filmed by camera crews from Australia, France, Germany and Korea.