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When will the trade union ‘big two’ invoke the fighting spirit of Larkin and Connolly?

THE people of Ireland are crying out for radical political and social change.

Primarily, they want rid of the corruption, mismanagement, squandermania and fatally flawed economic policies of the Fianna Fáil/Green coalition, daily propelling us towards national bankruptcy.

The anger and frustration is heightened by our collective inability to oust them for at least another two years.

The opposition parties have been totally ineffective in this regard despite ‘marking’ probably the worst government in the history of the state.

There are, however, two men with the requisite power and authority who can bring about the required seismic change.

They are David Begg of the ICTU and Jack O’Connor of SIPU.

These powerful trade union leaders have been remarkably silent in the face of the destruction of our economy and, as a result of that silence, appear to condone the undemocratic decimation of the lives and livelihoods of so many of their members and their families.

They must be aware that unemployment is heading for 500,000 – a figure curtailed only by the forced emigration of a similar number of our sons and daughters well into the foreseeable future.

They must be aware that a small and ill-qualified coterie in this

Government is undemocratically hellbent on salvaging a permanently dysfunctional banking system, the bankers, developers and the elite insiders at enormous and unmanageable cost to totally innocent citizens, many of whom are trade union members.

Given the unprecedented scale of our problems, why have these two union leaders remained silent and why have they not used their influence and authority for the good of the country to effect the necessary changes?

This fundamental change could quickly be achieved by organising a series of nationwide strikes and massed peaceful protest marches, as their predecessors felt obliged to do in the 1970s and ‘80s – this time targeted at ending the toxic reign of this rudderless coalition of miscreants.

Such protests would be cathartic and would give all citizens a legitimate and peaceful channel to voice their pent-up anger and disapproval. The next government, maybe even a national one, would at least have a fresh mandate and clearly the backing of a substantial majority of voters, as prospective government parties would be forced to articulate their policies clearly during an election campaign.

Are Messrs Begg and O’Connor going to stand idly by or will they invoke the spirit of Connolly and Larkin and provide the leadership craved by the ordinary citizens of this god-forsaken country.

John Cooney

Wilton Road



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