DDTV: GAOTH DOBHAIR priest An tAth. Brian Ó Fearraigh spoke out this weekend on the austerity taxes facing the people of Co Donegal – and told them to resist pressure to pay.
Father Ó Fearraigh addressed a huge crowd in Letterkenny on Saturday afternoon.
Gardai claimed around 1,500 people were there – organisers said it was around 2,500. Donegaldaily.com estimated the crowd at around 2,000.
Our video features part of Father Ó Fearraigh’s speech, which was greeted by huge cheers from the crowd.
It’s thought around 80% of Donegal people still haven’t registered to pay the €100 household tax.
But Father Ó Fearraigh said it wasn’t just about that tax; but about other taxes too.
You can read his entire speech, delivered in Irish and in English, below:
Today marks a very important milestone for the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay Campaign and indeed for everyone who oppose the austerity measures that are being imposed upon us. Because today, we are standing up, a people united. Over the last few months, people have gathered in small groups and in larger crowds for meetings in town halls, in community centers and various other places through out the county and further afield, to speak out against these measures, and on a weekly basis, effective protests have been held on the streets of local towns and villages. Again today, we are having our say, as we stand united – and our message is concise, our message is clear, and our message is very simple – Enough is enough, as we loudly and clearly say: Can’t Pay Won’t Pay.
Today we have gathered, from the N, S, E, and W. We arrive here today united. United in the one common cause of opposing and most importantly, defeating these unjust and immoral charges.
From the North we have come here today to say: No, to these unjust and unfair charges
From the South we have come here today to say: SCRAP these unjust and unfair charges
From the East we have come here today to say: ENOUGH is ENOUGH
From the West we have come here today to say: WE the people – Cannot pay and will not pay these unjust and unfair charges.
But most importantly, are saying WE the people will over-come these unfair charges, that are being place as a heavy imposition upon the shoulders of householders, on individuals and families who are already struggleing as things are. Householders and people who are unable to pay, Householders and people who are struggling with mortgage repayments, Householders and people who are struggling to pay a litany of bills from energy bills, medication costs and health care, education bills, insurance bills, food – the Litany goes on and the sad fact is, that this litany is a reality for many many people in communities the length and breath of our county and indeed our country.
Today as we march together, we are acting locally, knowing that we are being heard nationally. Our voices, will loudly reverberate, not only through the Hills and Glens of Donegal, but further afield and through the entire country all the way through to the corridors of those who govern us, with that very strong a very clear and a very precise message, namely; Can’t Pay Won’t Pay these charges.
I feel that our unity here today is sending a clear message to Minister Hogan, and that message is; Minister Hogan now is the time to Perform or Perish, the choice is yours!
By Perform, I mean, please listen and pay heed to the will and the actions of the vast majority of people of this country, who have not and by the looks of it, will not sign up and register or subscribe and to these highly unpopular and regressive stealth charges. Pay heed and rescind these unjust charges, which are nothing short of a heavy imposition upon the people whom you serve.
By Perish, I mean, now is the time to repeal these unjust charges, or failing such, come next election, face the wrath of the Irish people who are losing all confidence in your ability to govern us responsibly.
People have been threatened with fines, penalties, charges and with bullyboy tactics, and we know that this is the reality of opposing these unjust charges. However, Minister Hogan, we wish to say that these do not terrify the people anymore. Why? Because we contrast these, to the soft handling of the white-collar criminal millionaires, those, as we all know, who have absolutely plundered and destroyed our country and its economy! What do we see, for far too long, no banker or businessman being brought to task. So these intimadatory antics from you, only make people stronger and more steadfast in their efforts, and solidify our resistance. We are no longer scared. We want you to Feel OUR anger, see our anger, hear our anger, as we stand united in the common cause of Justice, equality and fairness, for all the citizens of this island.
In hearing about the small number of people who have to date registered in comparison to the vast majority who have not; It appears that Minister Hogan is in serious trouble, and that’s trouble with a capital T, in relation to his regressive charges. For, the actions of the vast majority of the people, in deciding not to sign up and pay these charges, are nothing short of a direct challenge and indeed undermine the Minister’s authority, as he presses ahead with these hugely unpopular charges, and we all know that is certainly dangerous territory for any Minister.
By pressing ahead with these unjust charges, I feel that the basic human dignity of the Irish people is being undermined. Undermined and damaged, in that people are being treated as objects, rater than valuable citizens with great potential. Objects from which to extract the greatest possible amount of money in order to pay for the wreckless gambling of self-centered speculators. The big hand of the State is being put into our pockets, not once, not twice but far to many times. Why? In order to make the people cough up, whilst we are being told, but; ’You are not responsible for this crisis’ that we find ourselves in. Is that fair, no it’s not. Is that just, no, it most certainly is not. Especially, when no due regard or attention is being paid to the crippling effects that such charges have and will have on our humanity, on families on individuals.
Householders and individuals are being penalized by these harsh austerity measure. While greedy and reckless and faceless Bondholders are being rewarded. These people, whose incompetence has brought our country to it’s knees, are being raised up and REWARDED, while home owners and individuals citizens of this state are being brought to their knees and DEPRIVED, and that is wrong. That is injustice at its worst, that is immoral.
Seo anois an t-ám le bheith ceilí agus siosmaideach agus le seasamh níos daingne le chéile. Creidim go bhfuil na cánacha cáidheacha seo chánacha tí, séarachais agus uisce le cáineadh go láidir.
Mar atá a fhios againn uilig go maith, tá neart daoine agus mol mór teaghlaigh amuigh ansin, á bhfuil an bhróg ag teannadh orthu. Tá neart daoine ag streachailt mar ata sé; ag íoc billí maireachtála, Oideachais, morgaistí agus ar aile agus a bhfuil imní orthu agus gur cúis buartha díofa na cánacha úra seo atáthar a chur mar chloch mhuillean orthu.
Tá teaghlaigh agus daoine atá ar an ghann chuid agus ag streachailt cheana féin agus nach bhfuil agus nach mbeidh ábalta na táillí seo a íoc? Agus sin ceann de na fáthanna a bhfuil mé féín páirteach san fheacthas seo – I ndairíre, cha dtiocfadh liom ach gan seasamh a ghlacadh ar an cheist seo.
Ma chuirtear a bhreis anuas orthu, dhéanfar, daor aicme ar fad díofa, rud nach bhfuil sásúil, nach bhfuil ceart ná coir, no fiú mórálach ar chor ar bith sa lá ata inniu ann.
Tá cuid mhór taffant agus go leor bagairtí déanta agus a ndéanamh orainn féin agus ar mhuintir na tíre seo le tamalt anuas anois agus thig linn a bheith cinnte do, go leanfaidh sin ar aghaidh ón Rialtas. Ach, mar atá a fhios againn uilig, cha dtig leis an taffant, na barairtí sin, na briathartha maslacha da gcuid, muid féin nó ár Spiorad a lubadh nó a bhriseadh.
Tá muid inár seasamh anseo inniú a chairde agus seasann muid an fód aontaithe – Ní neart go cur le chéile – Tá muid ag labhairt amach, agus ag labhairt lenár gcuid cósa ag sin, agus muid ar na sraideacha, go direach mar atá na mílte daoine eile fud fad na tíre seo. Gulainn ar ghulainn, agus I measc na spriocanna atá againn nó go bhfuil muid ag iarraí teachtaireacht láidir a chur ón Chearnóg seo chuig lucht Rialtais, sé sin – Stadaigí den Slád. Stadaigí de na buillí, mí mhórálach agus na táillí éagóracha seo atá sibh ag brú ar phobal agus ar chosmhuintir na tíre seo, pobal agus daoine atá faoi mhí-bhuntáiste cheanna féin, agus ag streachail ar chuid mhór bealaigh mar atá sé.
Tá muid tinn dubh tuirseach de na cáineacha éagóracha seo, de bheartais gáthair, agus briathara bréagacha, a deir go bhfuil gá agus fedhm leis na cáineacha seo le seirbhisí cuí a chur ar fáil…amaidí, amaidí aagus níos mó amaidí. Na cuirigí cloch mhuillean eile ar ár muineál, agus ar mhuineál ár muintire ata ag streachailt – rud a dhéanfaidh iad, a bhádh ar fad i dtobar an éadóchais, ach tabharaigí ceannrodaíocht agus dóchas dúinn.
Chan amháin go bhfuil ár gcuid seoltaí tógtha againn, ach tá ár mbreatacha tógtha agus níos cumhachtaí, tá ár nguthanna tógatha againn agus aontaithe ag seasamh an fód le chéile, agus tá an Ard ghaoithe ceart linn lénar dteachtaireacht a iompar a fhad leis an cluasa a chaitheas éisteacht. I ainm Dé, na tabhairaigí cluas bhódhar níos mó dár nguth. Caithfear a chinntiú, nach ndéanfaidh an deor dheiridh a dhiúl asainn mar dhaoine, ach a mhalairt ar fad, go mbeidh an Rialtas sásta tacú agus cuidiú linn, saol a bheith again, in ait a bheith níos doimhne i bhfiacha.
In conclusion: When I hear the word BONDHOLDER– I’m not too sure what to think. But what I do know, is that we can and have, become BOND MAKERS. We have become makers of bonds of solidarity with one another in the face of these unjust charges. And we are strengthening these bonds of solidarity in the face of great adversity. However, our Government, and let’s be clear – our Gov is not showing solidarity – but rather are chocking the people, whom they ought to serve, and they are doing this, by tying this millstone of unfair taxes and unjust charges on peoples necks.
Today clearly demonstrates our sense of social solidarity and our concern for each other. We need, and let’s demand exactly the same thing from our Leaders and our elected representatives, be they here in DCC or Dáil Eíreann or Seanad Eireann– what we need is a more concrete sense of solidarity and of standing with the people, shoulder to shoulder and not standing or stamping the people underfoot. You all know that these charges are affecting, individuals, families, communities, the length and breath of this county and country. So many of us here today, so many people, so many individual stories. Let our voices be heard.
Finally, it was once said that ‘there is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give it everything.’ Standing here today, we give it our all, in order to ensure that these regressive and unjust charges are defeated and in the words of a fellow campaigner in Falcarragh recently, To ensure these charges are relegated to the septic tank of history. Why? Because they bring nothing but, hardship and difficulty, stress and poverty go leor.
We, the people say: No to household charges. We the people say: No to water charges, We the people say no to septic tank registration fees. We the people say: We Can’t Pay won’t Pay