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After nearly a fortnight of political turmoil, which Bertie really wishes would have died down by now, today seems to be the D-day on which all of his future will be decided. After his Nixon-esque interview on Six-One, the FF strategists were surely hoping that his personal life being laid bare for the cynical public, as well as his stated intention to pay back the "loans", were enough to silence the hounds. However the Manchester payment, by some group of businessmen, for some vague reason or other, is going to cause him enormous damage, and it remains difficult to see how he could come out on the other side of all this with his image as a simple man of the people intact. Surely even FF are going to be wondering if sticking with their leader is worth it. In the last general election, his face was the face of Fianna Fail, adorning the posters on the lamposts, with the slogan 'A Lot Done, More To Do'. They face losing the next election if Bertie is still at the helm and is the brand of FF.
But by the end of play today - if McDowell does pull the plug and Bertie gets the chop in an internal putsch, and we're all watching a leadership contest, or maybe even a general election nine months sooner than expected - will whatever happens make the slightest bit of difference? I find it hard to believe so. I dont think that any replacement for Bertie will be any less susceptible to corruption. Fianna Fail has always been the friend of the builder, developer, businessman, and whoever else is interested in getting access to the tent at the Galway Races - for the right price.
There was a large turnout today on the 1st anniversary of Terrence Wheelock who died as a result of injuries received in Garda custody. About 500 people from the Sean McDermot Street and Summerhill community turned out in support of the Wheelock familes demand for an independent inquiry. The protest was preceded by a mass in Sean McDermot Street church. Other groups that came to show their support included activists with Residents Against Racism, Working Class Action, Sinn Fein, Labour and the Workers Solidarity Movement. The family of John Maloney also came out in solidarity as well as independent T.D. Tony Gregory, Cieran Perry, Christy Burke of Sinn Fein and Joe Costello of Labour.
Previous Indymedia Coverage:
The Wheelock family have moved from their family home in Summerhill, in north inner Dublin. They had lived in 34 Sean O'Casey Avenue for over 20 years. There was emotional scenes as the Wheelock family gathered their belongings for the move. Neighbours were visibly upset and some were openly crying.
One neighbour, Thomas Boyle at number 29, who has known the family all his life, said that "its terrible what they're being put through. They are decent people; we can all see whats happening with the police around here, and we support the family 100%. Its a sad day, and we'll miss them. Who knows who's going to move in now."
There was no Gardai patrolling outside on the street last night as the house lay empty. The family have moved to an undisclosed location in the city.
Larry Junior said "we couldn't stick it anymore, the Garda harrassing us, it was getting worse and worse. Day after day they were using horses and dogs, and shining lights into the house, laughing and joking at all hours. They looked a sad lot. It was very upsetting for my mother and father. So that is why we decided to move. Hopefully they wont have another excuse at our new home."
On Friday evening last, five people found themselves served with notices to appear in the High Court this morning to answer as to why they allegedly disobeyed an order from the court, preventing them from obstructing contractors from connecting up the polluted river Deel as their main water supply.
This issue has been developing in Pallaskenry in Limerick, where there is opposition to the County Council’s intentions for the local water supply. The current situation came about following protests against the plan to place the local community on a larger group scheme for the provision of water. At present the locality is served by a supply of water from a local freshwater spring. The larger group scheme would mean that the community would instead be served by water from the River Deel, which is highly polluted.
This article contains a report from this morning’s court appearance.
Previous indymedia articles on the issue: Echoes of Rossport as Pallaskenry 5 face Jail | Limerick County Council, who are you working for? | A Call For Support | Why Must We Go to Prison for the Safety of their Families? | Support for Pallaskenry & Bleach Lough Spring Water Retention Group | No Spring Water - No Vote! | UPDATE: 2 more prepared to risk jail
The family of Terence Wheelock were attacked by Gardaí in their home in Summerhill in the centre of Dublin last night. Up to 30 Garda officers were involved in assaulting six members of the family, including a pregnant woman. Terence died from injuries he received in garda custody last year. His family have been highlighting his case for over six months since his life support machine was switched off after he never woke from a coma, and are calling for an independent public inquiry.
Robert, Terence's brother, recounts what happened. "My youngest brother was handing out leaflets for the protest outside Store St Garda Station on the 3rd of June. He's been getting hassle all the time from the Garda. A Garda saw him handing out leaflets and told him to get out of the area - but it was right across from the family house! My brother said to the Garda "I'm delivering these leaflets", and then the Garda jumped on him. All of a sudden a rake of police cars arrived in."
Fri 28 Feb, 18:30
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