Seanad debates

Thursday, 22 September 2022

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Photo of Lynn BoylanLynn Boylan (Sinn Fein)

I will speak today about the cost of living protest which will take place on Saturday. While today might be a miserable, wet day it looks like the weather gods are shining down for those of us who will take to the streets on Saturday because the weather forecast is good. Many of us will remember the water protests and how they shook the foundations of the Government at the time. It is hard to believe it has been eight years since those protests first took place. The protests grew on a monthly basis with increasing numbers each time until a large demonstration of nearly 100,000 people took to the streets in March 2015, a protest I was privileged to address at the time.

At the time the Government dismissed the protests, sneered at the protestors and tried to smear them with terms such as "sinister fringes" and such language. However, despite the arrogance of the Government, by April 2017 water charges were no more. The protests were a fantastic example of people power, citizens standing up and telling the Government that enough is enough.

This Saturday, 24 September, a cost-of-living protest will take in Dublin. I encourage anybody from around the country to make their way to Dublin for that protest. It is being organised by the cost-of-living coalition which involves a group of students, activists, unions and politicians who have been brought together by the soaring cost of living, by energy costs, rising inflation, housing costs, ludicrous rents and the ongoing rise in costs across the board.

The cost-of-living coalition is calling on all those affected, including people who have seen their mortgage rates go up because the Minister for Finance will not bring in the banks and demand that they do not pass on the interest rates for the moment. It is essential that the message is sent loud and clear that the cost-of-living crisis has to be addressed by this Government. I urge everybody to join that protest on 24 September.

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