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Mary Harney ‘Blood On Your Hands’ Direct Action

01/11/10

Mary Harney's 'blood' soaked handsTwenty Six County Minister for Health, Mary Harney, was left with a red face, neck and hands today as a result of a protest by éirígí activist Louise Minihan. The direct action took place as Harney prepared to ‘turn the sod’ on the foundations of a long overdue mental health unit at the hospital.

Minihan, who was an invited guest at the carefully stage-managed event, waited until the opportunity presented itself to pour diluted red paint onto Harney’s clothing. As she did so Minihan explained to Harney that the paint represented the blood that she and the rest of the Dublin government have on their hands as a result of the cutbacks to healthcare across the Twenty Six Counties.

Following her protest Minihan was arrested and taken to Ballyfermot Garda station before being released without charge at 11.30am. Speaking after her release she said:

“In one month’s time the government will introduce what can only be described as a blood budget. The cutbacks in healthcare that will be contained in that budget will result in the unnecessary and avoidable deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of people over the coming years.

“Today Mary Harney had the cheek to organise a publicity stunt at Cherry Orchard Hospital, where she was turning the sod for a long overdue mental health unit. This is the same hospital which has been starved of funding for years, where an entire ward for Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers was closed down during the summer.

Louise Minihan arrested“The red paint that I used in today’s protest is symbolic of the blood that Harney, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party have on their hands. Irish citizens are literally dying to satisfy the demands of the IMF, the EU and the money markets. The wealth of this country should be used to provide a first class health service that is open to everyone and not to bail out the private banks.”

Louise concluded by calling on people to oppose December’s blood budget, “All across the country, in Tipperary, Navan, Monaghan, Wexford and elsewhere people have taken to the streets in their tens of thousands to defend their local hospitals. All of these local hospital campaigns need to come together in the run up to December’s blood budget.

“On budget day itself the people of Ireland need to get onto the streets in protest. People don’t need political parties, trade unions or other so called leaders to tell them what it wrong with this country and they don’t need political parties or trade unions to tell them to get onto the streets. The time has come to stop moaning and start building a real alternative to the right wing policies that got the country into the mess it is in. It’s time to tell the government and the rest of the political establishment that enough is enough. We aren’t going to accept their blood budget.”

 

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