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éirígí Successfully Picket Pat Rabbitte’s Office

18/10/12

Last Saturday [October 13] saw éirígí hold a successful protest outside the constituency office of the Twenty-Six County Minister for Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, on Tallaght Main Street in West Dublin.

Protest at Pat Rabbitte's office

The demonstration, which was timed to coincide with Rabbitte’s weekly constituency clinic, was called in opposition to the recent announcement of an 8.5 percent hike in gas prices in the Twenty-Six Counties. As had become the norm for such anti-government protests a significant Garda presence was mobilised in a crude attempt at intimidation.

Speaking at the picket, éirígí’s Tallaght spokesperson Scott Masterson said, “At a time when winter is closing in and families are already struggling, Pat Rabbitte and the rest of the Dublin government are forcing tens of thousands of families to choose between heating their homes and eating. Increasing gas prices during a period of extreme austerity is simply immoral.

Protest at Pat Rabbitte's office

“Oil and gas has been found in abundance off the coast of Mayo and Cork. But instead of using Ireland’s hydrocarbon resources in a positive, socially just way, Rabbitte is giving our oil and gas away to private profiteers. Rabbitte is doing his best to ensure that the fuel off our coasts will never benefit Irish families in any way.”

Scott continued by calling on the people of Tallaght and further afield to mobilise to demand the nationalisation of Ireland’s oil and gas. “As we speak, working people across this state are under severe stress, deciding how little or how often they should turn on their heating. More alarmingly, many more have resigned themselves to living without any heating at all.

Protest at Pat Rabbitte's office

“However, it doesn't need to be this way. There is ample gas and oil to meet the needs of the citizens of Ireland north and south for many winters to come. It’s time for people to take to the streets to protest against extortionate energy prices and fight to reclaim our natural resources. We can start by taking back the wealth that lies off our shores, oil and gas reserves that rightfully belong to people of Ireland.”

 

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