'If not for your country, then for your children'
Protestors voice their anger at 'Tralee says no'
Published 20/02/2013 | 05:36
THEY came from Killorglin, Ballybunion, Listowel and, of course, Tralee, last Sunday to voice their anger at the Government's continued policy of paying back bank debt.
The first 'Tralee Says No' march, modelled on the 'Ballyhea Says No' protests which has been going for over two years in the north Cork village, took place at 11am on Sunday outside the Kerry County Council buildings.
A respectable number of about 60 people took part in the walk and organisers said that they were happy with the turnout. Carrying banners, the group marched from the county buildings down to the roundabout at the Mile Height and back around again in a protest which took about 15 minutes to complete.
"It's a good start, I'm so pleased that there's so many new people I don't know here," said co-organiser Geraldine Nolan, from Cahermoneen in Tralee. "Ballyhea started small so we're hoping as we go on that more people will join us on Sunday mornings," she said.
Her sister and co-organiser, Mary Tobin, from Fenit, spoke to the crowd assembled after the march.
"Every Sunday we'll be here walking until the Government get it into their heads that the people of Ireland did not go mad and it's not our debt," she said.
"In simple terms, the bully in the schoolyard will always get away with it as long as everyone else does nothing. We need to send the message to the Government that we're not having it. There are a lot of people at home who see no hope but I'll tell you this much 'Tralee says No'."
Speaking to The Kerryman afterwards, Mary said the turnout was encouraging.
"We're delighted with the turnout. We were expecting just the ten of us but as you can see there's a lot of people who have wised up that it's not their debt and it's not their children's debt."
When asked why people tend not to protest in large numbers about such issues Mary offered her opinion.
"I don't know what it is about protesting in this country, is it that they think their neighbours are judging them? Nobody is judging them and they shouldn't be afraid to come out and protest. If not for your country, for your children," she said.
The protests will continue every Sunday morning at 11am outside Kerry County Council buildings in Rathass.