Thousands expected at cost of living in Dublin on Saturday, with road closures

Thousands of people are expected to attend a major cost of living protest in Dublin.

The march will begin tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. at the top of Parnell Square – which will be closed for a while – and will make its way to Dáil Éireann, on Kildare Street.

It is organized by the Cost of Living Coalition, which is made up of organizations including union members, student and retirement organizations, and opposition political parties.

The aim of the march is to urge the government to take radical action against the cost of living and the housing crisis.

The group calls for “price controls, higher wages and welfare, rent controls and cuts, windfall gains and free childcare and public transport”.

The coalition held a demonstration in Cork city last weekend, with an estimated 1,000 in attendance.

The number of demonstrations across the country has increased in recent weeks, but Saturday’s planned demonstration is expected to be by far the largest.

The Cost of Living Coalition was founded by Eddie Conlon, sociology lecturer at TU Dublin (formerly DIT) and a longtime activist for People Before Profit.

He told the Sunday independent, that in his more than 40 years of activism, he has never seen “such unity in a campaign as this.”

“It has the support of so many organizations and of every generation. This is a big problem in society. People are afraid. People are concerned about the bills that are pending,” he said.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said in the Dáil Éireann this week that the government should listen to “what people are asking for” ahead of the budget.

“[Ireland] is a country for profit-hungry energy companies, big corporations and real estate vultures, for the greedy and the obscenely rich,” he said.

“And I think it’s that feeling that this Saturday will bring thousands upon thousands of people into the streets to gather in Parnell Square and march to this Dáil before the budget and to demand aid and protection from the cost of living.” – and housing disaster that people suffer.”

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, a member of the coalition group, said people are living in a “nightmare” because of rising bills and daily living costs.

“You cannot exaggerate the kind of pressure people are under and there is a sense that the government has not listened,” Ms McDonald said on Tuesday.

“(Government) have said a lot. They’ve done a lot of kiting, but actually, when it came down to it, there was a lot of delay and hesitation.

“So the evidence will be on budget day to determine whether or not the real seriousness of this situation has ended up with a government that, frankly, has so far been completely out of touch with the reality on the ground.”

Father Peter McVerry said the government is failing the state.

“I have asked the government not to abandon the people of this country again in this energy crisis,” he added.

“One of the most important responsibilities of government is to ensure that all of its citizens are met with their basic needs. That means including housing, what they haven’t done, free education, what they haven’t done.”

Meanwhile, the president of the Union of Students in Ireland, Beth O’Reilly, said students are being forced to sleep in friends’ tents, cars and couches.

“They can’t find or pay for housing and that’s a shame,” she added.

“The responsibility of this work is placed with our student unions, the government has washed their hands with the problem.

“They seem to think that excavations are a solution to the student housing crisis, when we know that students who use excavations have no tenancy rights and are still being charged absolutely extortionate prices.”

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