The Donegal Action Against Austerity protesters, who left Malin Head last month in a walking protest to Dublin, are only days from what they hope will be a massive rally in the nation’s capital.
Speaking earlier this week from Enfield, Co. Meath, Buncrana man Joe Murphy said, “All the austerity groups have been out to meet us,” as the Donegal walkers made their way from town to town across the country.
The Donegal group is planning to meet protesters from other parts of the country at 10 am on Saturday in the Phoenix Park, near the cricket club and zoo. They will then proceed to O’Connell Bridge, where other protesters will be gathering at about 12 noon. The protest will leave from there for the convention centre, for a rally at about 1 pm.
Joe twisted his knee earlier this week while in Enfield, but said a doctor had treated him. “It feels okay now,” he said.
The group continues to receive broad support on the road. Earlier in the week a woman stopped them in Meath and took them for tea and cake. A delivery man pulled up alongside them and gave them five or six litres of milk. Another woman called them into her home for tea and sandwiches.
“That’s been happening all the way along,” Joe said.
Helen Mitchell of Newtowncunningham has also been part of the group since Malin Head. “Apart from a little sunburn I’m grand,” she said. Helen said she wanted to get involved because her son had lost his special needs assistant at school. “I said, right, it’s time I got up and did something here,” Helen said.
She said the people they have met along the way have been very supportive. “Everybody we’ve been talking to has been 100 percent behind us,” she said. “Everybody all the say has said, ‘See you in Dublin.’”
The group has organised buses to bring people from Donegal on Saturday to the rally in Dublin. For more information, visit the Facebook pages for Donegal Action Against Austerity and 25 mph Protest.