ONLINE PETITION: http://www.petitiononline.com/isntbb11
FACEBOOK PAGE: Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest
June 2nd 2011
BALLYHEA BONDHOLDER BAILOUT PROTEST – RUN TO THE DÁIL day three
Alright, alright – what happened to day two? For any of you who didn’t get the earlier posts, spent yesterday ‘hors de combat’, the body having seized up from the effort of day one. Still pretty battered today, but the others from the Ballyhea Bondholder Bailout Protest have stepped in; a relay bike ride, started in Nenagh at 10am this morning, and already we’re in Portlaoise.
Young Frank McNamara took us out, a veritable machine on wheels, went as far as Roscrea, then a veteran of the 1976 county junior winning team, Mikey O'Sullivan took over and if anything upped the pace, so that by the time Noel Hanley got in the saddle in Mountrath we were way ahead of schedule. That’s where we’re at now, Noel and his brother Christy (two men you did NOT want to meet on the hurling field) are going on ahead while I have dropped back to Nenagh to let student Frank head home to complete a project, and pick up four more students, including my own two kids; they will complete the last miles into Dublin.
One thing we’re learning on this crusade to Dublin – how badly the crisis is affecting life in Irish towns. Lifeless, many of them, barely a sinner to sign our petitions. ‘I hope the crows here can write,’ said Noel Hanley pointing to the circling flock as we pulled up in Toomevara, ‘or we’re not going to get a single signature!’ We got a few, then headed for Moneygall.
Early and all as it was in the morning – well before noon, and thus well before any of us would normally indulge - we had planned on having a pint of Guinness in the pub in which Barack Obama was pictured quaffing a full measure of the black stuff. If there was a welcome for the US President, however, it didn’t extend to the protesting Ballyhea boys. We set up our little petition table and sign outside the pub (not going to name it – might only be my mother and sister reading this but no publicity here for this guy) and took a picture, then – still not a sinner in sight – I set off across the road to try and get a few signatures in the souvenir shop. Managed it too, lovely lady behind the counter, but while I was in there the three lads were met by a guy who came out from the pub and told them, in no uncertain terms, to move the table from in front of the pub. They explained what we were about, and that we’d be gone in a few minutes – begone now, we were told, moves made on the table. Our protest is about galvanising people behind us, not about confrontation, so up we packed, moved on, and no pints either!
Mountrath was the best, great reaction, and finally, someone who would march with us, Joe Carroll from the village, along with a guy passing through some of ye might have heard of – Martin Comerford, multiple All-Ireland winner with Kilkenny.
On from there to Portlaoise, and that’s where I left the Hanley brothers. Update again this evening.
DAY 1 – TUESDAY MAY 31st
START FROM – TO DISTANCE (m) ARRIVAL
07.00 Ballyhea/Charleville 5.5 08.00
08.15 Charleville/Banogue 8.8 09.45
10.00 Banogue/Croom 3.1 10.30
10.45 Croom/Patrickswell 6.7 12.00
12.15 Patrickswell/Limerick 6.6 13.30
14.00 Limerick/Birdhill 12.3 16.00
16.15 Birdhill/Nenagh 12.5 18.15
DAY 2 – WEDNESDAY JUNE 1st
08.00 Nenagh/Toomevara 7.3 09.30
09.45 Toomevara/Moneygall 4.1 10.30
10.45 Moneygall/Dunkerrin 3.2 11.30
11.45 Dunkerrin/Roscrea 5.5 12.45
13.00 Roscrea/Borris-in-Ossory 7.4 14.30
14.45 Borris-in-Ossory/Mountrath 8.5 16.15
16.30 Mountrath/Portlaoise 8.4 18.00
DAY 3 – THURSDAY JUNE 2nd
08.00 Portlaoise/Ballybrittas 9.0 09.30
09.45 Ballybrittas/Monasterevin 3.9 10.30
10.45 Monasterevin/Kildare 6.6 12.00
12.30 Kildare/Newbridge 5.6 13.30
13.45 Newbridge/Naas 6.7 15.00
15.15 Naas/Rathcoole 10.4 17.15
17.30 Rathcoole/Dublin 10.3 19.16
DAY 4 – FRIDAY JUNE 3rd
12.00 Parnell Square/Kildare Street 1.3 13.00
152.8 miles total