‘Are People Seriously Suggesting There Should Be No Protests For The Duration Of COVID-19?’ [Updated]


This afternoon.

O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.


Protests in the wake of the death of Sarah Everard this afternoon in Dublin and Belfast and on Thursday in Cork, Limerick and Galway

“What I’d say is this: the pandemic has gone on for a year, it could go on for another year.

“Are people seriously suggesting that there should be no protests for the duration of COVID-19?

“Outdoor protests with people wearing facial coverings aren’t dangerous and it will be socially distanced.

“I think protests should be considered essential, there should be a derogation for protests to take place that are essential”.

Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger on Newstalk yesterday




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125 thoughts on “‘Are People Seriously Suggesting There Should Be No Protests For The Duration Of COVID-19?’ [Updated]

  1. Hector Rameriz

    March: Encourage mass gatherings.

    April: roast governing parties for rising covid numbers.

    May: moan about creaking health system

    June: Organise protests for better health service.

    Rinse and repeat populism.

  2. GiggidyGoo

    The shame of having his bottom handed to him by McGuirk, of all people, on RTE recently.
    And here he is painting all with the same brush. Typical Jackboot Fine Gaeler.

    1. Bitnboxy

      Go on out of that with your auld nonsense.

      John McJerk (PR shill for Decco “where’s me blue tick” Ganley) of Grift Media fame, the latter being the brainchild of Youth Defence founder Niamh Ui Bhriain of “wife-swooping sodomite” heritage, handed no one their “bottom”. Rather his aggressive performance (note Neale’s studied composure), which was nothing more than to imbue a culture war tone into these protests, ended up nearly saddling RTE with a defamation case, saved only by his speedy apology. Reminds me of nursegate during Repeal the 8th.

      My local TD Jennifer Carroll McNeil, now she can hand a Shinner or two their bottom. Last night during her debate on CB Live with Matt Carty, the Shinnerbots were out in force slurring her appearance on Twitter. Is that all they have got? Anyhow, I am quite impressed with her.

      1. E'Matty

        ah, never liked McGurk but to be fair he dismantled that Blueshirt and the RTE presenter on PrimeTime. The first point “not one single protester was interviewed” exposed the blatant bias and deceit at the heart of the Irish media reporting. The ludicrous Nazi and Far Right accusations looked comical by the end of the interview. The Branch Covidans are losing the people. They’ve had enough. Looking forward to tomorrow!

  3. Brother Barnabas

    if he thinks ROSA amounts to “toxic conspiracies and far right politics”, he should spend some time on broadsheet

    that’d open his eyes

    1. Not that Johnny

      I don’t think he is talking about Rosa protest, but his sloppy language allows Broadsheet to conflate the two issues.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        thanks for pointing that out – and on reading the article he linked, you’re absolutely right: he’s referring to the anti-lockdown protest

        1. E'Matty

          ah, it’s his selective dislike of protests so. The anti lockdown protests are Far Right and should’nt be allowed becuase they espouse a view that he dislikes and disgarees with and like all good democrats, he knows protests are only legitimate if they are voicing opinions that you personally support.

          1. Bitnboxy

            I’ll do you a deal. If tomorrow’s protestors behave in a similar manner to the crowd in the photos above, respectful, shunning violence and devoid of the usual far-right tropes and abusive slogans, then I’ll doff my cap to them and lend support.

            If all I see is a wave of angry, dysfunctional and maladjusted young men clad in dirty sports gear and spoiling for chaos, then I want the Gardaí to go in hard. I’m hoping that the current plan means this won’t be necessary.

          2. Nigel

            People are free to like protests they agree with and dislike protests they do not, this isn’t a difficult thing to understand.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      That shower are as much about mental health as the Nazional Party were against paedophiles with their nooses. When racist grifters like Tan Turdino are organising it it’s going to be another gang of scabby dregs attacking cops cos the pubs are still shut.

  4. Hank

    The death of Sarah Everard was horrific but I don’t get why people are protesting about it in Ireland? I can understand people in the UK protesting. Am I missing something or are people just desperate to get out of the house???

    1. AssPants

      It wonder is it echo chamber polictics…… people nowadays looking to adopt foreign nation problems and policies to assist with endorsing their own agenda.

      Since when did Ireland use the terminoldgy “far right”; seems to have been adopted by the Irish media from the USA over the last few years; certainly helps negatively amplify headlines beyond their threshold.

    2. realPolithicks

      Perhaps you should try listening to what women in Ireland have to say about the issue of sexual and other harassment and how it affects their lives on a daily basis.

    3. Junkface

      Yes I can understand the outrage in the UK, as it was a police officer who killed her. So that is just crazy! I think most men, and young men are aware of women and young girls worries about safety in public. Particularly if you went to a mixed school, well more so than if you went to a single sex school. Also so many young lads in school have sisters in the same school and are very protective, well that was my experience. With most of societies problems, it starts at home. Educate your kids, make sure your sons understand what is acceptable and what is not.

      1. Redundant Proofreaders Society

        Why the difference in attitudes from students who went to a mixed school vs a single sex school?
        Is there data to support this?

        1. Junkface

          Not so much. It’s just from personal experience with female friends. A couple of them had real issues with ex boyfriends who went to private/ single sex schools. They told me that it was different to the guys they went out with from mixed community schools. So its just based on their experiences. I’ve seen UK writers talk about a similar thing there, but not aware of any studies.

        2. Cian

          Because the goys that went to single sex schools are total neanderthals when it come to women. They spent six years wading through toxic masculinity without any concept of how to properly treat women.


          1. Ronan

            As a private single-ed school educated yob, Cian is correct. We were incredibly juvenile and socially inept entering college.

            It’s certainly a factor.

            I can point to 5-10 incidents between the ages of 14 and 20 where I personally engaged in unwelcome attention ranging from a drunken ass grab on the street (that still gives me nightmares) at 14, to simply making people uncomfortable with conversation topics.

            While I had certainly long matured beyond unwelcome physical attention and approaches, tt was actually workshop in my first professional job on harassment that made me wise up on active and passive verbal harassment, once I’d had time to reflect on the points made.

            Unfortunately many don’t grow up. Education is key, in the home, in school and in the workplace.

      1. E'Matty

        ah, sure there’s nothing like a good protest in the park with a few tinnies on a sunny St Patrick’s day. Looking forward to it.

        1. V aka Frilly Keane

          Here’s another Irish Woman humiliated and abused by Irish Police

          Joanne Hayes

          There’s plenty more for reasons for Irish Women to remind ye they aren’t safe in the company of Gardai

          1. Bitnboxy

            Joanne Hayes has been scarred for life. It was not only the Gardaí but the entire apparatus of the state, captured by a brand of religion that was a mere front, hiding an underbelly of the worst kind of hypocrisy, that became further intoxicated by hounding this poor woman based on a tissue of lies.

            And it wasn’t really that long ago.

            What good is that money to her now, delivered well beyond the time it could have done her any good?

          2. V aka Frilly Keane

            That pay out was an insult to Joanne Hayes
            Look at the life she could have had if she had the money, even a quarter of it, back – what – 35 years ago
            Look at the life and careers all those Men had
            + Snr Garda Benchmarked Pensions
            Over those 30 odd years
            And think about the life Joanne could have lived
            Her and her family

            And you can include two local Journalists that used her as a springboard into the National/ Dublin media
            And only now admit t’was a whitewash btw

            Let me tell ye
            It’s backwards we’re going
            F’ing Backwards

            Beyond disgusted that there’s people sneering at these people out on the Street today, with a few pieces of cardboard

            That tis prominent on the ‘Sheet
            Twas coming from a while back in fairness
            And I’ll mention Dara Quigley again
            Imagine this
            What if those Guards that night actually took care of her
            Minded her, treated her with some dignity and professional decorum

            Where’s yere shouty mouty Anti Corruption bhoyos now?

          3. Bitnboxy

            @V Oh gosh, I hope we are not going backwards but there is still certainly an extant group /subsection of men who still live by their rules, impervious to the standards and norms of according basic dignity and respect to women and minorities but I’d like to think it is shrinking, at least in some parts of the world.

    4. milk teeth

      For exactly the same reason the George Floyd protests spread around the world. Whilst the death happened in another country the problems that precipitated exist in Irish society and must faced.

      1. Hank

        That was also during lockdown. I still suspect a lot of the participants just want an excuse to get out of the house even if they’d never admit it aloud..

        1. Daisy Chainsaw

          Plus women and girls would like to go out without the fear of being harassed, attacked, murdered etc.

      2. Junkface

        @milk teeth

        They don’t. They really don’t. Ireland does not have anything close to the same racial and cultural problems that America does. Especially with regards to the police. Ireland did not share the same civil rights struggles of the 1960’s. Black people in Ireland are likely to come more directly from Africa or the Caribbean recently (within 30 years). They are not descended from slaves as the majority of black americans are.
        The George Floyd protests were more likely to spread around the world because America is a super power with the most cultural influence, and that video was awful, shocking and caused outrage.

        1. milk teeth

          I mean if we’re just aspiring to have a lesser problem with racism than America yeah all is fine, don’t worry.

          1. Junkface

            Of course there is racism in every country, and it’s something each country must work on for a fair society. But don’t go with blanket comparisons like the conditions that led to George Floyds killing are present in Ireland, it’s simply not true. Most people in Ireland would not accept racist behavior, compare that to 50 years ago. Unity and inclusion with other races improves with each generation.

          2. Nigel

            An acquaintance of mine who would when sightly drunk complain about ‘the blacks’ he had to live with while working as a young man in London, went to work in Dublin for a while, and would often tell me how sorry he felt for the black lads he’d see around because of the racist abuse they were getting. I’ve never forgotton that. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not very real, and it definitely doesn’t mean it can’t get worse.

          1. benblack

            Black and white, so to speak.

            Personally, I’d like clementines all year round, however, I would still like a ripe apple to fall on my head in summer.

  5. baz

    posted earlier this morning in the newspaper thread…

    looking forward to the forthcoming mental gymnastics from RTE and the Irish Times whereby the non compliant with Level 5 restrictions protest scheduled for O’Connell Street today will be deemed virtuous while the protests scheduled for tomorrow will be shameful

    1. millie bobby brownie

      No more than the kind of mental gymnastics deployed by those people who think that this is all a #plandemic and that the NWO are out to control our little tiny minds via 5G.

      1. baz

        you forgot Hitler, you are so far off the reservation with your not even tangential comment you might as well mention Nazis too. Well done.

          1. benblack

            Cryptic crosswords are fun – depending on the cruciverbalist – orgies, not so much.

            Each to their own.

          2. Papi

            Maybe the orgy you attended was just really really bad?
            Either way, get out, live a little, it won’t kill you.

          3. benblack

            And the Manic Street Preachers.

            And at Cardiff Arms Park singing their National Anthem, ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’.


            Had to have been there.

      2. Cian

        Or the anti-masker that says masks
        A) can’t stop covid (COVID is too small to be trapped in the mask)
        B) can stop oxygen getting through (oxygen is way smaller than covid)

  6. gringo

    RUC versus the wimmen of Ireland? Should be great craic entirely. Better than your average parade anyway.

    1. eoin

      Yeah. Think I’ll attend just to spite Neale. Denying people the right to peaceful protest and shutting them down with a heavy handed police response are the actions of far right regimes….NEALE. Tired of these fools and their double speak. And while I’m on it, populism is a movement to address the imbalance between the poor and the ultra rich, nothing more, nothing less. Slapping a ‘far right’ label on it won’t make it go away.

  7. Gavin

    “They merely want to spread their toxic conspiracies & far right politics.” that’s just lovely coming from someone whos job is to represent citizens and understand view points, its this kind of black and white thinking that drives people to extremes of political spectrum…what an absolute silly boo

    1. Micko

      Very true.

      The idea that anyone on the supposed “far-right” sees themselves as evil masterminds trying to destroy society is laughable.

      At the end of the day people on the far left and right are just doing what they think is best for society and their families.

      Each side demonising each other, when in reality they both want the same thing.

      1. Nigel

        ‘when in reality they both want the same thing.’

        They absolutely do not want the same thing.

          1. eoin

            Of course they want the same thing. Life, liberty and happiness etc. They just disagree on how to achieve those goals.

          2. Nigel

            The far right, for example, want to acheive those things by agressively pretending that climate change isn’t happening and that everybody who says it is happening is part of a conspiracy to… well, it varies. Destroy western civilisation is a popular one.

          3. Micko

            I’ll take your word on that. I genuinely don’t know.

            But, is that your only gripe with them?

          4. Micko

            Well, since they’re not going away (unless we kill em), would it not make more sense to try to reason with them.

            Calling them stupid and demonising them just makes them dig their heels in even more.

          5. Micko

            I dunno Nigel. To me, the “far-right” were always skin head Nazi / white power types.

            The kinda people that you wouldn’t want to sit beside on a rollercoaster. Ye know – Gods unique rejects. ;)

            But now, the “far-right” label is tacked into anyone who doesn’t agree with the extreme left.

          6. Nigel

            Well, no, you’re pandemic-skeptic but the vast majority of insane disinformation about the pandemic is coming from the right and you blame other people for pointing this out rather than the right for flooding the internet with pandemic disinformation and conspiracy theories. You might feel hard done by, but it isn’t my fault.

          7. Micko

            Well I’m not a pandemic skeptic. It’s real.

            I just disagree on our handling of it. Why we followed the Chinese model of locking up healthy people is beyond me.

            Anyway we’re gonna go around in circles again – so let’s leave it there.

            You can get your last comment in now, and let’s leave it. ;)

    2. Nigel

      He’s not obliged to pretend the far right isn’t filled with toxic politics and conspiracy theories. That’s not black and white thiking it’s just stating the patently obvious, and people who embrace extreme politics are responsible for their own actions, not people who just state the patently obvious.

          1. Bitnboxy

            To be fair, some of those organising that “Mental Health Rally” need to be sectioned: for our, not their, safety.

          2. E'Matty

            just wait until you see how many Far Right children turn up in Herbert Park tomorrow. They’ll scare the bejaysus out of ya! God forbid, they might even try dancing like those Nazi racist kids in Hastings reported doing the Hokey Cokey (a well known Far Right ceremonial dance) yesterday in the media. What is the world coming to when all of these families have been captured by the ominous sounding Far Right?

        1. Junkface

          The far right boogeyman exists in the southern states of the USA, but does not have much power currently. Whereas in Russia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia there is a real danger from the far right. They have power, they are violent, they are changing laws, especially against women and LGBT communities. Trump was appalling on climate change, most right wing loudmouths are, they are in complete denial and ignorance.
          I wouldn’t compare them to your standard conservative family though. They don’t all share extreme and ignorant views on science. There’s lots of sensible conservatives in the UK, not all of them mind you.

          1. Nigel

            Neither would I compare them. Conservatives want to privatise health care and prisons and every other public utility, deregulate everything including the environment, and promote family values. Thay’re bad enough. The far right want to say things like: liberals want to change all chocolate so it’s made out of processed manure, expect to be believed because it’s a point of view and scream about freedom of speech and wokeism and cancel culture when liberals say why is this being featured on news stories and websites and spreading across social media funded by weird old billionaires and questions are being asked in governing deliberative bodies across the world and violent SAVE CHOCOLATE protests break out and and everyone tells the liberals to tone it down a bit, you’re driving people to embrace extremism and someone posts a picture of a liberal eating chocolate so now all liberals are hypocrites and expect everyone to eat manure-chocolate while eating ordinary chocolate themselves.

          2. Junkface


            Dear lord Nigel. Yes the culture war is raging on both sides now, and on the extremes it is ridiculous, the media in the USA are using it to replace the lost outrage that Trump used to cause daily, they have to pay the bills and their ratings are absolutely collapsing. It’s about money.

            Cancel culture does exist though, more so in the USA than in Europe, but things are changing. You see Hollywood, wealthy colleges and the world’s elite companies are too terrified to go against the woke ideology right now, as it would damage their careers and business. It’s only ever about money, they don’t care about society.

            If you want to test if cancel culture is real, Just type in something controversial about women and trans women comparisons into twitter. I’m sure you will get banned immediately. Then you will know it’s real. If you are too scared to even try that, then you also know it’s real.

          3. Nigel

            No. Cancel culture is not real. Go be abusive to a woman or a trans person online and see how long it takes for a bunch of men and terfs to jump in to defend your freedom of speech. You seem to be confusing ‘cancel culture’ and ‘wokeism’ with racism, sexism or transphobica no longer being as socially acceptable as it used to be for some people, and becoming the heroic vanguards of freedom of speech for others.

          4. Junkface

            No, I’m not confusing anything Nigel. I did not say go and be hateful to women to get cancelled on twitter. I said say something controversial, like a basic scientific fact regarding biological sex. It does not have to be hateful, just factual, from about 4 years ago. That should do it

          5. Nigel

            Whether it’s controversial or hateful you will become a Hero Of Liberty just for saying it.

      1. Gavin

        If you’re assuming you know the viewpoints of all people who disagree with you and remove them from discussion by tarring them all with the one brush, how do you expect to understand them, inform them and bring them along. This is one of the key requirements of being a poltitican and is a pretty basic skill for someone in his position.

  8. Junkface

    Marching outside is fine. It there are crowds wear a mask. If it’s sunny out, it’s even safer. I don’t understand restrictions on sports like football, tennis and golf. You’re not likely to catch anything there, unless you kiss your opponent on the lips after a great shot. Which would be interesting.

    1. Cian

      No, yes and yes.

      Tennis and golf allow social distancing.
      Football doesn’t.

      But can you imagine the outcry if they let golf back before football?

  9. ce

    Ultimately making lockdown last longer and trapping people in homes with people who perpetrate violence

    …Yes, it’s awful to put it this way…

    1. E'Matty

      ah, all of a sudden ce is worried about people suffering domestic abuse locked up in their homes with their abuser. Pity you haven’t been considering them at all in your Covid obsession this past year. Should we also pencil in time for you to lament the delayed cancer diagnosis tsunami that will result from the policies you have supported?

      Just watch how the very people responsible for supporting restrictions carefully and deftly try distance themselves from the inevitable and entirely foreseeable consequences of their myopic obsession with this virus.

      1. Nigel

        People have been talking about both those things and more since the lockdown began, without using them as anti-lockdown bumf.

      2. Bitnboxy

        Jaysus E’Matty – you are as guilty of that of which you are so ready to accuse others. Like it or not, we live in a complex, messy world of shade and nuance. People can support the Covid-19 restrictions and still be acutely conscious, aware and understanding of the obvious issues and serious problems this can create. It’s not either or. The world is not black and white. And this whole unprecedented pandemic is NOT easy for anyone. Very few people are either lockdown junkies or of the throw caution to the wind open everything back up now brigade. There is a world of opinion and feeling.

      3. ce

        I think the lockdowns have been utterly daft, and have said so a lot over the last year – if we had taken care of an infectious disease in the manner you should take care of an infectious disease a lot of the current nonsense would be avoidable. However, we didn’t because a significant proportion of the population with all manner of political/social views are in denial as to the reality of an infectious disease. And so, that left the powers-at-be with the only option of the type of lockdown we are in…. which has a higher chance of dragging on if people keep gathering, and traveling to gatherings regardless of what they are etc. before daily case go below about 100… and we have proper test, trace, isolate etc…. Learn from people who deal with this sort of thing all the time or face the social, political, and health consequences… such is life.

  10. Termagant

    Stop violence? Great, wonderful idea. How? Tell people that rape and murder is bad? Done, box ticked. What’s the next step?

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