From World Socialist Web Site: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/irel-n29.shtml
By Chris Marsden
29 November 2010
Saturday’s demonstration by between 50,000 and 100,000 in Dublin against the bailout of banks was massive by Irish standards and in relation to its workforce of 2 million. It was a powerful expression of the determination of workers, young people and students to resist the savage austerity measures being imposed by the Fianna Fail-Green Party coalition as a precondition for an €85 billion package of loans and guarantees from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The pain involved only gets worse. The deal reached with the EU finance ministers late Sunday means Ireland will have to pay a staggering 5.8 percent interest rate on its loan, compared with 5.2 percent for Greece. The Irish State will also funnel €17.5 billion into the coffers of the banks from the National Pension Reserve Fund and other sources. It has been estimated that by 2014 interest payments on the loan will have increased from €2.5 billion to over €8 billion per annum, around one fifth of all tax revenue.
Yet there is a fundamental political dilemma facing those looking to defend themselves from a further 10 percent cut in wages, tens of thousands of job losses, tax hikes and the elimination of social provisions—set to cost families that have already suffered an average €4,000 loss in income an additional €4,000 a year. It found symbolic expression at the rally at the end of the march, where the two main representatives of its organisers, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, were subjected to catcalls and booing that on occasion drowned out their speeches, even over the PA system.
The reaction to David Begg, the ICTU’s general secretary, and Jack O’Connor, the leader of Ireland’s largest union, SIPTU, was manifestly hostile. But this solicited precious little comment in the mainstream media. The Irish Sunday Times noted, “Jack O’Connor, the ICTU president, and David Begg, its General Secretary, were loudly heckled. Angry marchers shouted at O’Connor ‘to get off the stage’.
Continue reading at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/irel-n29.shtml