A FEW WORDS AND A FEW PHOTOGRAPHS : HEALTH PROTEST MARCH / RSF BALLAD SESSION , DUBLIN , MARCH 29 , 2008.
Despite heavy rain from early morning , many thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin yesterday in support of trade union calls for a proper health service for their members ,other workers and for all who live in the State : Republican Sinn Fein had a presence at the assembly point from 2pm onwards , with a named placard stating – ‘Leinster House: A Morally Sick Institution’ , a sentiment which received applause from other participants and from passers-by . Members and supporters of the organisation marched with the other protestors to Leinster House , in what was a noisy and colourful demonstration , to drive home the message to the inmates that are employed therein (and who sometimes work there) that their callous disregard for the health and welfare requirements of the citizens of the State is not acceptable to those citizens , who pay the large salaries of the well-suited Lords and Ladies who occasionally cast their spoiled shadow in said institution.
All-in-all , despite a lower than hoped for turnout , that message was delivered to those who , for now , control the purse-strings and use the contents of same to safeguard their own health and welfare at the expense of the financially poorer sections of this society . Like those that went before them, their ‘legacy’ will be remembered…
RSF BALLAD SESSION , DUBLIN : AN UNPRECENTED SUCCESS !
The wet weather didn’t keep the punters away , and the ‘no-show’ of the advertised group didn’t make them leave !
Poor Liam ! In between the showers of rain and with only hours to go before the start of the gig, he was notified that the booked ballad group couldn’t make it : frantic telephone calls and much ‘toing and froing’ between different contacts – some of whom were on the above-mentioned ‘Health March’ and therefore not in a position to help , but knew others that might be in such a position : more frantic ‘phone calls! – eventually secured the services of the ‘Full Irish’ ballad group , well known in the area and with their own well-deserved following! Phew……
The doors opened at 9pm , last drinks were at 12.30am and between those hours the crowd were welcomed to the POW fund-raiser, the new group were introduced to the packed venue and an explanation given for the no-show of the original group (anyone that wanted to leave with their admission price back was offered same – no takers! Those that stayed – everyone! – were given five free raffle tickets in appreciation), the eight items that would be going home with new owners that night were shown to the crowd – six for the raffle and two (A Celtic bodhron and a beautiful Bobby Sands memorial candle [thanks , Cathy!] that were to be auctioned) , hundreds of Euro worth of raffle tickets were sold , two of the organising committee got drunk [such was their relief that all was working out so well!] and both Liam and Kevin came to the same conclusion at the same time : that John would have to be physically removed from behind the live microphone he had somehow managed to get hold of . Liam won !
It was a fantastic night (and early morning !) which was organised by the local RSF organisation on behalf of the CABHAIR group : a sincere ‘Go Raibh Maith Agat’ to , amongst others , Willie , Fintan , Joe and Frankie , for wiping Liam’s brow (!) , to Cathy for the much sought-after Bobby Sands candle , to the management and staff of the pub , to all the punters that attended and to Kevin , Brendan , Joe , Benny and Dan for helping to make the event the success it was !