Ballyhea says No


Sir, – On March 2nd, we mark the third anniversary of the first “Ballyhea Says No” protest march. Every week since March 6th, 2011 we have marched in Ballyhea and Charleville, all with one purpose – right the wrong that was done with the imposition of €70 billion of private bank debt on the shoulders of the Irish people.

We have been told that people’s protest is pointless, achieves nothing. However, we point to so many momentous changes throughout the ages, from Kiev and North Africa in recent years, to the civil rights marches in the North, in the US, and other examples of achievement through public demonstration.

We’ve been told that it’s all too late, that the bank money is all paid. We point to the €25 billion in sovereign bonds (issued in payment of the promissory note), now sitting in the Central Bank, awaiting sale; we point to the €3.1 billion bond (issued in payment of the 2012 promissory note), likewise held by the Central Bank. We point to the euro-zone leaders’ statement of June 2012: “We affirm that it is imperative to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns”, the inherent recognition that what was done to Ireland was wrong. We point to the fact that on foot of this statement, Ireland is owed the €20 billion taken from our Pension Reserve Fund to fund the bank bailout, and should not have to pay the remaining €20 billion or so now owed to the various EU emergency funds.

We’re told this was our own fault – Irish bankers, Irish regulators, Irish politicians, Irish electorate; we say this was all due to the launch of a fatally flawed currency, with neither foresight nor oversight as hundreds of cheap billions poured from the core of Europe to the periphery, swamped several economies, all on the watch of the ECB.

We’re asked how long we’ll continue to march – as long as it takes. Our campaign isn’t founded on the shifting sands of hope or optimism, foundations all too easily undermined; our campaign is founded on determination. Three years ago we determined that what was being done to us was wrong, with no consultation with the people as successive weak governments were bullied, browbeaten and blackmailed into accepting a debt that isn’t ours. We are now determined that this wrong will be exposed for the world to see, and that this wrong will be righted.

For this one day, we ask your readers to come and march with us in Ballyhea, 10.30am, March 2nd. This is about your family, this is about your future. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.