Galway Anti Household Charge Protest and the “infamous” chair!
So i heard there was a protest on Monday afternoon at City Hall against the new Household Charge. I grabbed my camera and headed up for a look.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as protests in Galway are so few and the ones that do happen usual attract the same people. But thats for another article!
Outside City Hall i came apon a group of about 60 to 70 people gathered around the circular plaza thats in front of the building. Speeches were well in progress.
The first thing that struck me was the age profile of the protestors. The majority of which were of pensionable age and they could certainly make themselves heard when the orator asked who here owned their own houses.
A loud “i do” rose up in front of the building. There was a palpable sense of anger and defiance from the crowd.
After the various orators delivered their speeches the group then proceeded into the lobby in which they intended to hand in a petition to the members of the city council. The door to the Chamber was blocked by Gardai and negotiations where underway well underway before i got into the lobby . The crowd continued to chant slogans which were now louder then outside because of the layout of the lobby.
Council workers looked down from the first floor in amazement and curiosity.
By this stage more Gardai had arrived and a representative of the Council came out to address the leaders. Petitions were handed in and some more speeches were given.
When it seemed like the protest was over and the job done new life was suddenly unleashed. A number of protestors had noticed that the two large doors which open into the council chamber were not locked. With a sudden rush they made a break for it.
Everyone instantly ran for the door. I desperately tried to change the settings on my camera to capture the moment of the protest. Gardai now moved in enmasse and started to drag and eject protestors from both the chamber itself and the lobby.
Alot of pushing and shoving ensued and it has been alledged a chair was used in a threatening manor. I didnt see any chair been thrown or raised above head height although some people inside the chamber have said so.
The shamozzle was over just as quick as it started and a line of Gardai now blocked any entrance to the chamber. Some more slogans were shouted and parts of the constitution were read out. And then in small groups the protest left the lobby
and that was that. I overheard one protestor say, ” we made our point”.
No Chairs were harmed in the production of this article.