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Dozens Join Minihan Protest at Mountjoy Jail


Over sixty people joined a protest last night [July 18] calling for the release of Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan. The protest, which was called at just three hours notice, took place outside of Mountjoy Prison where the éirígí councillor is being imprisoned as punishment for her ‘red paint’ protest against the former 26-County Minister for Health, Mary Harney.

Yesterday’s dramatic events began shortly after 2pm when Minihan was arrested at Ballyfermot Garda barracks before being transported to the Dóchas Centre within the Mountjoy Prison complex. Minihan may now serve up to seven days imprisonment as a result of her refusal to pay the €1,500 fine the courts imposed upon her in February 2011.

Mountjoy Jail

Speaking from outside the jail, Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson said, “Today we have seen yet another example of the two-tier justice system that operates within this state. It is now abundantly clear that there is one law for the rich and powerful and another, far more severe, law for the rest of us.

“We should all remember that this is the state that has yet to jail the corrupt Taoiseach who explained away his vast sums of unaccounted for income by claiming he won it on the horses; this is the state that has yet to jail the media tycoon who bribed a minister to win a broadcasting licence; this is the state that has failed to jail a single banker or financier for bringing the economy to the point of ruin; this is a state that has failed to jail anyone for the blood transfusion scandal which cost the lives of hundreds of people. And the list goes on and on.

“The difference between Louise Minihan and all of those who have escaped punishment is simple. Louise is not part of the golden circle that runs this state and she is therefore not entitled to the immunity from punishment that members of that circle enjoy. By directly challenging Harney, Louise was in fact directly challenging the entire ruling class in this state and for that she must be seen to be punished.

“The tiny minority that control this state fear people who are willing to challenge them, because they know how tenuous their grip on power actually is. Like their counterparts in Athens, Madrid and Lisbon, they understand the power of a risen people and they are therefore willing to use every weapon in their arsenal to prevent a popular fight back from gaining momentum.

“Unfortunately for the political establishment the fight-back is already underway and no amount of intimidation or punishment is going to stop it. The jailing of individual political activists will have only one result and that is to strengthen the resolve of every other activist, as seen by the great turnout here tonight.”

Leeson concluded by encouraging people to join further protests outside of Mountjoy over the coming days. “We will be back here each evening at 8pm until Louise is released. I would ask people from across the city and the country to join with us to show solidarity with Louise. Together we can take a stand against not only the two-tier justice system, but also the two-tier health system against which Louise was protesting in the first place.”


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