Protesters unhappy at Council vote
There was angry scenes in City Hall this week as protesters shouted down councillors following a motion on the controversial Household Charge.
The motion, put forward by Socialist Party Councillor Mick Barry and Worker's Party Councillor Ted Tynan, called on the City Manager not to bring legal action against those who have not paid the Household Charge.
Between 30 and 40 members of the anti-Household Charge campaign filled the public gallery before the debate, which came at the end of the fortnightly meeting.
At the defeat of the motion, by 16 votes to 7, with three abstentions, members of the campaign shouted verbal abuse at the councillors, such “Scumbag”, “cowards” and “We’ll remember ye on the doorstep.”
Earlier in the meeting Lord Mayor Cllr Terry Shannon has requested members in the gallery to remain seated and not to interject in proceeding, such as taking photos.
Councillors ran a gauntlet of verbal abuse when leaving the Chamber as protesters gathered outside the doors.
“They lied to us on the doorsteps,” said Damien Moylan, who had shouted “Zieg Heil” at the Lord Mayor’s comments to the public gallery for order.
"I did say Zieg Heil, because the Right Honourable gentleman stood up and has showed no respect for me whatsoever. He attacked me using all the authority he has, as the small little citizen I am.”
“The reason I used that word is because I did feel he was behaving in an extremely authoritarian manner and a dictatorial manner and not showing any respect to me so I just responded in kind. I didn’t really mean anything with it.”
Other members of the campaign admitted that the words shouted from the gallery were in the heat of the moment but did not apologise for their actions. They also accepted that the council had no power to stop the charge being implemented
“They’re just emotional about this,” said Damien, who is involved with the Mallow campaign.
I don’t think there is any personal animosity to any individual councillor. They objected to their policies, perhaps verbally, and it was a statement of discontent with the policies taking place.”
Another campaigner, Micheál Magner, insisted that the councillors could have taken a moral stance on the issue, even if they had no real power over the charge being stopped.
“The 16 councillors who voted against the motion could have shown solidarity with the taxpayer and voted for the motion,” said Micheál.
“All they are doing is maintaining the status quo. If the actions and words of Sean Martin are anything to go by then Fianna Fáil will be in the ashes a long time.”
Members of the campaign also stated that they would organise a public burning of letters sent by the Government and Local Authority looking for the tax on Patrick Street in the summer.
Cllrs Thomas Gould (SF) confirmed he is prepared to go to jail for non-payment of the Household Charge.
“Am I prepared to go to jail for €100? Of course I am.”
Socialist Party Cllr Mick Barry confirmed that the campaign had secured the services of five solicitors so far to fight any action in the courts against non-payers in Cork.