Meetings were held in both Lucan and North Clondalkin in recent weeks to organise the local community to fight back on the cost of living. Speakers at the meetings spoke about the issues facing older people, students and ordinary people in the community. Inflation and increasing energy prices is disproportionately affecting workers on low and middle incomes and those on pensions or welfare.
On Saturday 24th September the Cost of Living Coalition made up of 30 organisations of trade unionists, student and pensioner bodies and opposition parties took to the streets of Dublin demanding action from the Government on the cost of living crisis. This was the first of many events and protests to be held by the coalition. All organisations involved in the coalition believe this campaign will continue to grow over the winter months when families are hit with energy bills, and they will be organising future protests.
Gino Kenny TD says “The turnout on Saturday was incredible with up to 20 000 people marching through the streets of Dublin. I have been knocking on doors in Clondalkin and Lucan the past few weeks in relation to local meetings that were organised by the Cost of Living Coalition. People at the doors are telling me they cannot afford their food shopping, and this is before they face the winter months of heating bills. Families are really struggling and are anxious about the predicted hikes in energy costs. I think the Government are detached from reality and in a bubble not seeing how hard-pressed families are. The hikes in food, electricity and heating are all coming on top of a housing crisis with families paying outrageous rents and childcare. It is not sustainable, and incomes normally considered to be a living wage are no longer a living wage. If the Government doesn’t introduce meaningful and radical measures in Budget 2023 they will face a backlash and a movement over the next few months similar to that of the water charge movement.”
Cllr Madeleine Johansson, who chaired both local meetings, said: “What we’re seeing at the moment is a global transfer of wealth from ordinary people to the super-rich. Big corporations like food retail stores and energy companies are making extortionate profits while workers having their wages cut by inflation. On top of this we have a housing crisis in Ireland that is getting worse by the day. People are desperate to find a roof over their heads or having to pay crippling rents. This movement is only beginning and if we all come together and stand strong we can force the government to take action.”0