“People are no longer afraid of the Government. They’re increasingly aware that the Government is afraid of them.” — Paul Murphy, Irish Socialist Party
Months of protest over proposed water changes in Ireland have forced a major U-turn by the government. Here’s news coverage from IrishCentral, plus a background piece from the BBC.
But below the surface of water charges are deeper political issues.
Some protests were violent and represent “an anarchic campaign being fomented by extreme left-wing factions across the country to undermine democratic politics,” Stephen O’Byrnes writes in the Irish Times.
But Conor Pope suggests Irish protesters “should pat themselves on the back … for putting manners on the Government like never before.” He wonders if “had they done a little bit more, a little bit sooner, could the worst ravages of the austerity age have been avoided?”
A recent Irish Times‘ “Inside Politics” podcast explores the present and future state of Irish politics. Click on “Fractured Democracy” from this link.