Major protest in Cork against the Government and attack on the elderly

Over 3,000 people – the old, the young and the grandchildren – marched through Cork city centre today in anger against the proposed cuts in Medical Cards for over the 70s.

It was clear by 3 pm that a big protest was gathering when the numbers arriving spilled out onto Patrick’s Bridge, disrupting normal traffic flow. Large numbers of elderly were present, many unsure of where the protest was heading but absolutely sure that they wanted to be on it.

By the time the march set off along the Patrick Street at 3.15 pm, the numbers had grown to well over two thousand. Large numbers jointed the protest as is moved down Patrick Street to Daunt Square. The front section of the march met the tail end as it returned along Patrick Street. Protesters called “Shame, shame, shame on Fianna Fáil” and “Harney Must Go”. Along the route members of the public clapped and called out in support of the march. Seasoned observed commented that there hadn’t been a march like it in years. Cars and bus drivers honked their horns in support. The mood was angry and defiant although it was clear that for many it was their first time being on a protest in quite a long time.

At Emmet Place, the Campaign For A Real Public Health Service addressed the speakers. Speakers from the Workers Solidarity Movement, the Socialist Party, Sinn Fein and Age Action Ireland all addressed the meeting. The recent Government’s attack on workers and the elderly was underlined in all the speeches. The campaign is calling for supporters to build the campaign in the next week. A further protest has been called for next Saturday in Cork city centre.