‘I can barely buy essentials’ – thousands take to the streets for protest rallies for a living

Thousands of protesters took to the streets across Ireland today to force the government to take action to control the rising cost of living.

n Dublin, families, pensioners and young singles were among 500 people who gathered at the Garden of Remembrance.


Opposition politicians and campaigners will join the crowd of protesters attending rallies to protest the cost of living crisis today (PA).

The ‘Cost of Living Coalition’ organized city center protests in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Sligo as well as other marches this afternoon.

One of the families that took part in the protest was the Lehi family, who live in Dublin.

Michael Leahy was attending the protest with wife Zoe and children Cameron (10), Abigail (8) and Emerson (4).

Michael said that when he left a well-paying job, he found it very difficult to make ends meet by the end of the month.

“I have a good job,” said Michael. “I just find it hard to get by on a day-to-day basis. It’s half way through the month and I feel like my wages are over and I’m thinking, ‘What am I going to do for the next two weeks? .

“Again, I am by no means low income; I’m middle-income, but it’s really hard to survive.

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“I’ve seen it creep in, especially in the last year and a half.

“They talk about inflation but it is a big issue. I’m not big in economics and I don’t know how it all works. All I know is that I can barely buy essentials at the moment. ,

Zoe also revealed that she is currently studying for a degree at DCU, but may be forced to give up her dream if the situation demands.

“I’ve noticed that when it comes to shopping, the cost of food goes up,” she said.

“Just the basics, when you go shopping weekly. It can average €65 – €80 but now it is €100 – €120 on a weekly basis.

“I know it’s not a huge leap, but you really feel it when you’re paying for extracurricular activities for the kids.

“So, we are on only one income at the moment, but now I am feeling the pressure of getting second income. I guess I may have to choose between wanting to push myself and doing something to support my family.

Panos and Nadine from Greece have been living in Dublin for 10 years.

“We want to show support for those who can’t afford the cost of living,” Panos said.

“We want to tell, what is the reason? Why can’t people take the risk of living?

“For us, rent is a big problem, obviously. “But then there’s gas, and petrol for your car and food, of course.

Panos acknowledged that the situation in Greece was not as good, and felt it was the same across Europe, where people, especially the lower classes, were really struggling.

Talghat pensioners Billy and Mary Doyle reveal that they too struggle to make ends meet when all their children have left home.

“I’m just sick of the state of this country,” said Mary.

“We are pensioners and we struggle to survive. All our children have left home, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to pay for our own costs, especially gas and electricity.”

Billy said: “Petrol, fuel.. anything and everything you can think of is on the rise. As Mary said, we’re pensioners but it’s affecting everyone.

“We bought a house years ago on a big mortgage and we’re still paying for it. I know people will say it’s my fault, but we have to try to cover it on the pension. It’s like that. is as it should be.”

The Cost of Living Coalition, which is made up of trade unions, political parties and several other interest groups, staged a demonstration in the Garden of Remember, before protesters marched from Parnell Square to Del ireann.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou Macdonald and homelessness campaigner Father Peter McVery were among those who addressed the rally outside the Dell.

“Developments over the past two days show that the cost of living crisis is deepening, with almost 30% of households facing energy poverty,” said Dublin March coordinator Eddie Conlan.

“It will get worse as prices continue to rise. Immediate action is needed.

“Next October will be too late for many families, as they continue to grow further and further into financial trouble,” he said.

Mr. Conlan said the Cost of Living Coalition would seek to control energy costs, protect income, make housing affordable, invest in public services, and share money.

The government has so far resisted calls for a so-called “mini budget” before autumn to introduce more measures for families.

However, it has denied allegations that it has been slow to act on the issue, indicating that the steps it has taken to deal with cost pressures have risen to €2.5bn since last October.

On Thursday, Taniste Leo Varadkar said he did not rule out taking additional measures to help cash-strapped families, but said there were no specific plans to do so before Budget Day.

There was also a demonstration on St Patrick’s Street in Cork at 2pm today, with another rally being held at Galway’s Eyre Square at 2pm. Protests also took place outside Bedford Row and Sligo Town Hall in Limerick.

Don O’Leary, director of the Cork Life Centre, said Ireland needed to act to protect the most vulnerable.

“We have people coming and saying that the children are going to go hungry this winter,” he said.

“Children are already suffering – we are laying (the ground) for future generations of young people to pass on from mental health problems due to issues related to hunger, cold and poverty at the present time.”