Tallaght and Sligo: if that was violence then it’s paying off


Leo Varadkar did not look a happy man last night.  But then he was lined up on Prime Time opposite Ruth Coppinger, and Ruth eats people like Leo for breakfast. Without missing a beat she brushed aside Leo’s charges of ‘socialist revolution’, orchestrated violence and all the rest of it. The irony is that if Leo is right – if there was orchestrated violence – then the government comes out looking even muddier than they presently are.

Because if what we’ve seen at Tallaght and Sligo was orchestrated violence then it’s been very successful orchestrated violence that achieved its objective. Mary Lou McDonald’s sit-in in the Dail last week bounced the political agenda back into the water charges arena: this was denounced as a stunt and disrespectful of Dail protocol.  The events of Tallaght, Sligo and elsewhere  built on that and made it clear that indignation wasn’t confined to Mary Lou. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to be sure, but you can bet your Auntie Maggie’s plumbing system that the water can will be kicked down the road. Leo babbled out news we knew already – that the government had decided to reduce drastically the bills for household water. Further to that, there’s talk of no bills until April, when it’s hoped people will have got bored or tired or fallen back into their obedient posture. What there can be no doubt about is that the combination of Mary Lou’s sit-in and more precisely the scenes in Tallaght and Sligo succeeded in making the south’s government do a hand-brake turn and gun all engines to get out of the political danger-zone.

Unfortunately, they’re still in dilemma-land where they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If they enforce the water charges,  there will be civil unrest throughout the state and Fine Gael in the next election will make Fianna Fail’s results in the last election look good. If on the other hand they abandon water charges, they’ll have shown publicly that they haven’t a clue about running an economy and will do a backwards flip if they think it’ll save their political skins. So it looks as if they’ve opted for this third way: cut the amount charged and kick the can down the road as far as April, and promise you’ll keep the charges low for a few years anyway.

Will all that be enough? Hard to know. My bet would be that a sense of determination has gripped people in the south. An awful lot of people – including Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald – have said they won’t pay their water charges. People viewing the ‘violent’ scenes in Tallaght and Sligo, rather than recoiling from such  demonstrations of discontent, will take heart. They may well decide the jails won’t be big enough if everyone sticks together on this. Faced with that kind of unyielding opposition, the government’s water plans – maybe the government itself –  will collapse like a dodgy deck of cards.



14 Responses to Tallaght and Sligo: if that was violence then it’s paying off

  1. neill November 18, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    Will all that be enough? Hard to know. My bet would be that a sense of determination has gripped people in the south. An awful lot of people – including Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald – have said they won’t pay their water charges.

    Aye this week what about next week or the week before its just like the old saying“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

    • Jude Collins November 18, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

      Small bet, neill. If government maintains present conditions, neither GA nor MLMcD will pay their water charge. £50?

      • neill November 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

        If that’s the case they should be stopped from standing in the next election you cannot pick and choose what taxes you pay.

        Sorry I am not a betting man

        • Jude Collins November 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

          Me too, Neill, me too. Sorry, I mean…

          • neill November 18, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

            ; )

  2. Barry Doherty November 18, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    Jude, by God you have just saved all those hardworking rte and sindo types from having to work this all out, they are surely reasonable free thinking people and couldn’t possibly disagree……

  3. John Patton November 18, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Sons of Tyrone may speak with some authority on ‘orchestrated violence.’

  4. michael November 18, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    these water protesters have to be the most peaceful violent protesters ever remember the peaceful flag protests in the north no me neither

  5. Ó Braonáin November 18, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    The government know exactly what they are doing Jude and are succeeding at present. If people protest peacefully as they have done to date the government will ignore them just like they have done since 2008.

    Tallaght and Sligo have only demonstrated that this government will stop at nothing to deflect from their own actions and turn this into a law and order debate.

    When people consider that teenagers were pepper sprayed by Gardaí in Tallaght and the elected representative for the area had is shirt ripped off him you have to ask why the media choose to concentrate on a water balloon. Sorry, a water bomb, key in the arsenal of the subversive. Maybe he’s horrified that people would dare use water of all things when making a point?

    The current plan from the government is to make Uisce Éireann/Irish Water unworkable. Leo Varadker said as much last night on Vincent Brown. He doesn’t know if the charges over the next few years will be enough to cover the cost. The current programme is simply to get them introduced by any means necessary.

    The fees or levies for the next few years don’t matter. Presumably the company will be run at a loss for these years. So, what do businesses or governments do with semi-states that are apparently costing the tax payer money? They sell them of course. Plan complete, objective met and Denis O’Brien a happy man while the public pay through the nose.

    The only thing that can stop people protesting is constitutional provision for the protection of this vital resource.

    Who really runs this country of ours anyways?

  6. Iolar November 18, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    And it appeared a little later
    As the Minister told his tale
    That his face, at first just vacant,
    Turned a whiter shade of pale
    Raidió Teilifís Éireann continues to promote the unacceptable face of colonialism. David McCullagh presented as being uncomfortable with watertight arguments, “beyond the Pale.” The Minister was ambiguous about a female protestor who was thrown to the ground by members of An Garda Síochána. It would appear to a disinterested observer that women are being silenced in Dáil Éireann and on the streets.

  7. Perkin Warbeck November 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Passing strange indeed, Esteemed Blogmeister,how things of late have been coming in twos: Tallaght/ Sligo: Taoiseach/Yawnaiaste.

    That sort of two-timing thingy.

    Could it be something to do, perchance, with the numeral in the H 2 O shorthand?

    Or, could it even be to do with the bicentennial celebrations and commemorations related to the birth of Tommy Davis, Jnr, erm, two hundred years ago?

    Whose most infamous mantra was: ‘It takes two to Teanga’. Teanga being the Leprechaun for ‘language’. Nowadays, of course, Leprechaun is a teanga teileafoin, i.e., the only way to speak it is on the phone with another delusional phoney of restricted linguistic growth, without raising the hackles (Londonderry slang for ‘currying one’s yoghurt’) of some enthusiastic monoglot bent of shrieking ‘Compulsory Leprechaun !’. It is a jollies-getting default habit of this polished inclusive cohort.

    Handling, if not actually reading, the Polish supplement to the Sunday Independent Cult (sic) is another of their jollies-getting d.h. Look at us: we’re no narrow minded gnationalists.

    Then, as an increasingly impatient Perkie found out of late while waiting through grated teeth at the Boss-stop for seeming ages, and wondering just why there was so much hullabaloo about patient-care and not a dicky b. about the care of those who vastly outnumber the former,.ie, the impatient, along comes not one, but no less than two, yes TWO.

    Meaning two autobiography-bearing recipients of honorary doctorates from the Queen’s College on the Lee, UCC: Dr.John A. Murphy, Professor Emeritus of Procrastination and Dr. Roy Keane, Dean of the Faculty of F-all, and Professor Emeritus of Over-hype and Under-achievement. Both head butters of note, one actual, the other metaphorical.

    So inspired was Perkie’s inner poetaster that he burst out to the man in the driving seat even as he fumbled in his sporran for the correct knife and fork in monetary terms:

    Unlike Roy. G. Biv our Roy knows only one Colour

    Why is Keano so keen to preen-o with his fierce 50 yard stares?
    Just coz 50 top scribes unbribed chose the top 50 Euro players?
    No sign there of Roy
    As man, teen or boy
    Red is for Rebel Roy’s Cork same as for those rouged Khemers.

    Now, while John A.’s (like Harvey Oswald, one can dispense with the superfluous Lee) autobiography has not yet seen the darkness of night a recent portrait of the A for Artist as an Antiquated yet Lovable old Codger in the august pages of The Unionist Times reassured its readers with Redmondite blood in their veins, that it was on its way, and not to fret their fretwork. And that his writing style ‘had lost none of its old fizz’.

    Fizz? Yes, Fizz. Being an unrepentent 26-county man to the rubber castors of his zimmer-frame John A. is the supreme living embodiment of the Free Southern Stateen, anachronistically acronymed to F.S.S. and pronounced, preferably with a sneeze, …..fizz.

    Two (yes!) teasers from the forthcoming tome give some flavour of the tantatlising tome to come: 1. ‘The reason why journalists are so afraid to tackle Gerry Adams is because they are afraid to upset the apple tart of the Peace Process’.

    And to think a sprightly young fogey as John A. (87) can still maintain so unerringly his ear on the pulse and his finger to the ground can only make one feel the enroachment of a McAleese moment: wow !

    2. ‘Ruth Dudley Edwards has described John A. in Day-glowing terms as one ‘no way diffident when it comes to dancing the tango with a rose between his teeth’.

    Whatever can Babe Ruth (see cult above) mean? Perkie’s inner porn again purchaser can barely contain himself till the day of publication. Incidentally, while John A. (87) is not to be confused with Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct, nonetheless there are similarities: not only is John A. (87) the, erm, bane of brainless republicans with not an honorary doctorate to their name he is also (whispered) due to commence his upchucking, oops, upcoming volume thus in the style Edwardian:

    ‘I usually start with a corpse. I then ask myself how the corpse got to he be that way and I try to find out’. For cadaver, read 32-county Ireland.

    This will be, in fact, the second volume of the 87 year old John A.’s autobiography – his first was titled ‘Where Finbarr played’ and the next promises to be even steamier if both the Edwardian quotes above are anything to go by, not to mention the titillating nature of its title: ‘Where Finbarr slept’.

    It would be a exercise in churlish pessimism to rule out at this early juncture a third volume, thus making up a thrilling trilogy, even though two is today’s number for devout numerologists too numerous to enumerate.

    And yet, there is a pessimistic strain in Perkie’s inner poetaster which will not be gainsaid, not least the prevalence of ghost-written, erm, autobiographies of late. Hence:

    Catcher of oysters in the Cloisters

    John A. you may say is not the most liable to boast
    Yet as he chronicles a thriller from pillar to bedpost
    God may roar: Number 8 7
    Come ashore, a store, to H,
    H for heaven, lost to us, posthumous, over to ghost

    Then, there was Bono. Which is actually short for Bonio, the Dawg-food Magnate.

    Not one headline-defying crash, but….two. First, airborne, when the right buttock fell out of his private fuselage during a fahrt to Berlin and next, when he tumbled off his trike, second buttock first in Central Park in that city where the Avenues have no Name, only numbers.

    While the innumerate Perkie always pleads the Fifth on the question of actually enumerating said Avenues, nonetheless he has long harboured a soft spot in his head for Bono, sharing as both do similar initials: P.W.

    The Almost Fall of the Wall

    To mimic the Berlin Wall-fall Bono the Humble
    Was ever so modestly seen merely to stumble
    Oh, Lord, make me Buddy Holly
    But not yet, good Golly,Ms Molly
    Thus averting in his Wall Street listings a tumble.

    Oh, yes. That initial similarity between the two P.W.s: Pantomime Witch. Note how the pointed nose and the edge of Bono’s chin are increasingly on a collision course.

    Which serves to beg not one but two questions: do THEY know not only that Christmas is coming but that can only mean two things: Panto Bliss !

    And not only in Limerick but in Dublin: a Fairy Tale of Two Cities.

    Down at Shannon Airport there was the second of two (!) air incidents involving another one who reminds us that it not only a man who may be (allegedly) guilty of inhumanity to music but also one of the gentle gender, in fairness.

    Had Dolores Cranberry too much (allegedly) sauce on board ? A wet Sunday long article in the Sunday Independent Cult (sic) convincingly assured its legendary critical readership in its strong weekly publication that no, definitely not. Case closed.

    Happily, she will be able to stand in to the stillettos left vacant by the abrupt departure of the Widow Twinkey from the Shannonside Panto.

    Who has had to broomstick back to B.A.C. (Dublin) where the upcoming panto this year is the long awaited with the breath bated production, is……Joan and the Bean Counter !

    Fresh from her recent ordeal in Sinister House where she had to endure a scurrilous series of cunning stunts the indomitable Yawnaiste (for it is she!) will play not one but the two (that number again!) eponymous roles of J. and the B.C. As a Swahili-speaking former Bean Counter she is eminently q.

    And making a guest appearance to warble an aria as a tribute to the legendary concert of Sean O Riada in the same venue in the Year Dot, memorably captured on LP as ‘Rechaireacht agus Rol an Riadaigh’ will be that other happy warrior, Heather Humphreys. This pro-and-contralto with the voluptuous vibrato will sing the plaintive strains of ‘Do bhi Bean Counter’ which is the Year Dot.com version of the original.

    But, the REAL surprise guest and not just any dis or dat guest will be…..

    (Spoiler Alert: if you do not wish to have your Panto Bliss to be dismissed out of hand)

    …..a Certain Lady who Shall be Nameless (as she has specifically requested) and who will slowly descend by a hairy barge rope down, down, ever so slowly on to the fabled stage of the Gaiety Theatre to make her unforgettable debut, slowly so as to milk every last drop from the anything but, erm, watery rousing reception from the right-thiking folk in the stalls, parterre, circles, boxes and last but not least, the Gods, known as …The Deity of the Gaiety.

    There will not be dry eye to be daubed among the Crying Boys and Crying Girls in the audience who will give a standing ovation/ fada go leor and thankful that the mysterious fada over her fist name will not have fallen down in her dramatic descent, like some. (see above).

    Viva la Diva ex Machina !

  8. Ryan November 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    Water Charges will be the straw that broke the camels back when it comes to the people of the 26 counties. 4 years of constant harsh austerity being meekly accepted without much protest has lead to this, people have had enough. Whatever happens, we can be certain that there wont be the current Fine Gael- Labour coalition government after 2016, which can only be a good thing.

  9. William Fay November 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    I’m sure GA has committed worse crimes than not paying water rates. Perhaps if he does a runner north, we may have to extradite him.

    • Jude Collins November 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      How do you know so much about GA, sweet William? And shouldn’t you be bringing your information to the police?