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The trait which seems to have defined the Irish character since the start of austerity in 2008 has been stoicism.
Up until this current high water mark (pun intended) the populace fumed and fretted privately but protests were few and invariably peaceful and polite. Essentially, it’s the issue of manners, or lack of them, which seems to form the centre of the argument of those condemning the protestors’ actions. Manners amount to consideration for the other person. There is little consideration in condemning the Government’s policies when in opposition then, having gained power, foisting these and worse on a put-upon, austerity-weary populace.
People can see clearly nowadays, via traditional media and modern social media, that a sizeable plank of Government policy is motivated by a desire to fulfill the greedy aspirations of a top layer of society at the expense of the rest. The Government shows no sign of altering their course with the Taoiseach continuing — even after he experienced, first-hand, the anger of protestors — to utter empty banalities like “everyone in the country has a contribution to make”.
However, the fear is for the future of society given the unwillingness of Government, or indeed the EU, to alter course on so-called “austerity”.
I would neither defend nor condemn the actions of protestors, rather I would observe this was merely an inevitable result of seven years of policies which have reduced people’s lives, needlessly, to an endurance test.
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