(en) Irish unemployed marchers statement

Andrew Flood (ANFLOOD@macollamh.ucd.ie)
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 15:33:40 +0100 (BST)

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This statement issued by a group of 12 (out of 18) marchers on the Irish leg of the European march against Unemployment (Paris June 9th 1997)

For the widest possible circulation (papers, sponsors, unions, political groups etc)

We marchers wish to draw attention to the disgusting lack of organisation and forward planning by the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed. (The INOU: a bureaucratic organisation which claims to represent the unemployed in Ireland)

Our grievances include

* We were stranded in France for 4 days as a direct result of under-funding and the incompetence of the INOU at a leadership level.

* The bus on which we were to travel was a borrowed wreck which broke down on three occasions before total mechanical failure

* The INOU only paid 3 berths on a ferry to accommodate 18 marchers

* Two international marchers who marched with us were left short of cash and in Kilkenny Ireland threatened with not being carried on the ferry at all

* The first AID kit carried was inadequate and left out many of the items recommended to the INOU by a medical specialist

* The emergency funding and the daily allowances supplied (five pounds Irish were totally inadequate about a 1/3 of what would be needed to exist and march

* Tents which were to be supplied for emergencies were not.

The INOU have stated to us that they have no money.

This is a sick joke from an organisation which receives a massive budget from EU funds, state, church and unions in Ireland. The INOU has an office in Dublin with full time staff, phones, fax and internet.

Last year the returned a surplus (also known as a profit) on their activities.

The marchers themselves have raised well over one thousand pounds and Unions, trade councils and private individuals and companies thousands more.

There is plenty of money.

In France we have been overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Association Chomeurs in Morlaix, and especially in Lamballe.

We wish to make it absolutely clear that we have no quarrel with them.

They have been more then generous and that they basically saved our march from total collapse.

It would be impossible to thank them enough for all they have done.

Our criticisms are directed purely against the INOU in Dublin.

We the undersigned condemn it and will do our utmost to highlight the disgraceful treatment meted out to us representatives of the unemployed.

signed in a personal capacity

PJ Carroll( 3/7 branch member ATGWU/member Clonmel Trade's Council) Conor Mc Loughlin (National Committee Scheme Worker's Alliance/member ATGWU scheme worker's branch) D Flethcher (Belfast Unemployed Resource centre) R Lunn (Belfast Unemployed Resource centre) Jesica De Burca (Options Radio Productions) Elisa Mc Gee (Derry) Kerry Mc Gee (Derry) Paul Smyth (INOU National Executive Committee/ Galway INOU branch secretary/SIPTU shop steward) Martin Walsh (Chair person Scheme Worker Alliance Ireland/ATGWU scheme worker's branch) M O Mara (INOU National Executive Committee/Bawnogue unemployed group) Dominick Gallagher Derry + one marcher who wished to remain annoymous


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