Hundreds join ‘yellow vest’ protest march in Dublin
Demonstrators chanted anti-Government slogans near Custom House before a march to Parliament.
Hundreds of people have attended a “yellow vest” protest in the centre of Dublin against the perceived failures of the Irish government.
In solidarity with the French yellow vest demonstrations, a group called Yellow Vests Ireland took to the streets on Saturday afternoon.
Protesters wore hi-visibility jackets and chanted anti-Government slogans including: “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out”.
Those who gathered outside the Custom House overlooking the River Liffey said they planned to march to Parliament at Leinster House every Saturday into the new year.
Their aims include an immediate halt on all housing evictions, the resignation of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris, a cap on bedroom rent and legalisation of medicinal cannabis.
Organisers said the movement is “recognition of the desire and right of all people to live, work and thrive in a safe modern and dignified manner”.
The demonstrators blocked traffic in the city centre for a brief period.
Sheila O’Byrne said she was there on behalf of the mother and baby homes survivors.
“The illegal adoption and unmarked graves, an unmarked Irish Holocaust, I’m here fighting for truth and justice,” she said.
“For the weak and elderly and vulnerable where the Church and state profited on our labour.
“We want what we’re owed, the same as the industrial homes.
“The housing situation is a disgrace,” she added. “People are left out on our streets when we have buildings lying empty.
“I’ve asked the housing minister to assist the council workers. It’s not a question of money, it’s materials. We can make these empty homes liveable again.”
The yellow vest movement in France, which takes its name from the fluorescent safety vests French motorists must carry in their vehicles, emerged in mid-November as a protest against fuel tax increases.
It soon expanded into an expression of rage about the high cost of living and president Emmanuel Macron’s policies.
A planned anti-eviction rally across Dublin was also planned in response to the controversial Roscommon eviction last week, but was cancelled due to low turn out.