Donegal ‘a bastion’ of anti-household campaign - Higgins

Donegal has been heralded as “one of the bastions” of resistance to the household charge by Socialist TD Joe Higgins.

Donegal has been heralded as “one of the bastions” of resistance to the household charge by Socialist TD Joe Higgins.

Deputy Higgins addressed a crowd of up to 80 people in Letterkenny on Tuesday night and he says this reflects local anger to the austerity measures.

Speaking to the Donegal Democrat after the event he said the Government measures meant Donegal was “being victimised” despite seeing little of the economic boom.

“Donegal really is one of the bastions of the campaign, there is no doubt about that. It effects a feeling among the people of Donegal, that the ordinary people didn’t benefit massively during the so called Celtic Tiger days but doesn’t stop them being victimised for the crisis in the same way as everywhere else. I think that is reflected along with the difficulty people have with unemployment and just making ends meat,” he stated.

He added: “The people in Donegal are very well organised and that is very clear in the current results. The Government can’t really disguise, despite their attempts to manipulate the figures, the extent and the resistance and opposition that is here.”

Up to 80 people turned out to talk by Socialist TD and anti-household charge campaigner in the Station House Hotel.

During the talk, which was hosted by the local branch of the United Left Alliance (ULA), people from across the county expressed their anger and concern at the austerity measure introduced by the Government.

Organisers of the meeting said the turn out was their largest to date and indicates that many Donegal people are seeking political change.

Local United Left Alliance representative, Amanda Slevin explains: “It had about 80 people, which is the biggest meeting we have had in Donegal. If you take the early days of the anti-household charge, it was bigger than some of those meetings and I think it is reflective of desire among people in Donegal for something different and an alternative form of politics.

“It was an interesting meeting and many people were there who hadn’t attended our meetings before. It highlighted the desire for something different and connected campaigns such as the anti-household charge, to the wider structural problem with Irish politics and the Irish economy,”

Amanda said the event was not hosted as an event to bolster ULA numbers in the county, but was intended to address the “lack of a meeting space” for people to come together and debate what’s happening.

“One of the primary goals was have people come along and say ”Alright, what’s going on? Why are we being punished and what is the alternative to this? To have that space is primary. I do think that is lacking in Donegal”.

Also speaking on the night was economist, Brian O’Boyle.