The protestors said they were at the school yesterday to show Taoiseach Enda Kenny how disgusted they are with cutbacks across a whole range of services.
A statement issued this morning on behalf of Donegal Action Against Austerity claimed they were not involved the protest despite the fact that several protestors were wearing DAAA jackets.
One of the protestors was among a group of DAAA protestors which appeared on the Late Late Show after they walked from Malin Head to Dublin.
But Shaun Sweeney, the 5th year pupil who won the €150,000 prize to help next term’s first years at the superb school in Milford, believes passionately that protestors got it wrong.
Pictured above by photographer Clive Wasson, here Shaun writes for donegaldaily.com on his feelings after the noisy protest; where eggs were thrown by at least one of the protestors at the Taoiseach’s car.
By Shaun Sweeney
“As the pupil who prepared the school’s e-book which won the competition I honestly can’t put into words how personally offended I was by the protesters, terrible sights today to see the leader of our country having to be rushed inside for fear of being hurt by people who had no place being there in the first place.
“There is a time and place for debate about the treaty, today was not such a time. An apology needs to be issued to the school from the protesters for ruining what would otherwise have been a brilliant day for both myself and for the school.
“It was an honour for the Taoiseach to be with us today, I haven’t seen one piece of media coverage yet with a heading about winning the smart class competition which has been completely and unjustifiably overshadowed by the actions of a minority group of people.
“If one positive thing comes from today I hope it manages to show people how this group cannot be taken seriously, they’ve successfully managed to completely discredit themselves and have tarnished an unforgettable day in the school’s history.”
Another student wrote the following:
I am not one for voicing discontent, but today I witnessed first-hand such a despicable, horrendous attempt to hijack a proud moment for my school that I felt compelled to speak up.
Shaun Sweeney, a marvelous student who deserves the utmost praise for his wonderful achievement, almost had his day sabotaged by a pitiful attempt to use the school as a platform for a ‘political’ attack.
I saw 30-odd grown adults act like children. What sort of example is that to be setting for our kids? That it is okay to whine and moan about things to get your own way, to beat drums and wave banners, even to go as far as throwing eggs at the leader of our country’s car? I think that a small broadcast on the local radio would have done a lot more in the favor of the supporters of the ‘can’t pay, won’t pay’ campaign.
All these protestors have achieved is degrading themselves to a level where they don’t even command the respect of the first year students in the school: Correct me if I am wrong, but surely that can’t be seen as a step forward for a ‘political movement’ – bearing in mind that the age to vote is 18 years of age in this country.
I understand, from some brushes with the majority of these folk in the past that they consider it truly patriotic, truly republican to support this anti-austerity movement. But I wonder what would Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, Eamon DeValera, James Connolly or big Jim Larkin have done if they were faced with the same economic challenge that Mr.Kenny is today- regardless of their respective political orientation? I think they would be doing something an awful lot more productive, sensible and beneficial to our country’s state of affairs than to be engaging in childish chanting, and throwing eggs like national school children. It begs the question, were the ‘can’t pay, won’t pay’ protestors parading in the wrong schoolyard?
A disgusted student