9 Feb 2013

More than 100,000 people took part in demonstrations across the country today, in protest at the country’s continued bank debt burden. 

The protests were organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and took place in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Sligo. 

Over 60,000 took part in the Dublin protest, while at least 15,000 turned out in Cork, 13,000 in Waterford, 10,000 in Limerick, 7,000 in Sligo and 5,000 I Galway. 

Congress General Secretary David Begg told protestors at a rally in Dublin’s Merrion Square that bank debt problem had not been solved by the recent deal.

He vowed Congress would continue its bank debt campaign until the link between private bank debt and national debt was clearly broken. 

“If you read some papers yesterday you would think we had achieved economic salvation and our problems were over. Nothing could be further from the truth. And we have over 100,000 thousand people on the streets of Ireland today who feel the same way.

“New deal, same problem: 1.8 million people cannot possibly pay of a bank debt burden of €64 billion - especially a debt they played no part in running up. There is nothing fair about this deal. 

“We saved the European banking system in 2008, an act of extraordinary solidarity with Europe - now we want some solidarity in return,” Mr Begg said. 

He pointed out that Ireland had already paid some €41 billion for the banking crisis, more than Germany, the UK, Spain or Portugal. 

“So far, every Irish person has paid €9000, while the average across the EU is €192. That is neither fair nor just.,” he said. 

 The rally also heard personal testimonies from people affected by the crisis.