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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Irish Examiner/YouTube Diarmuid O'Flynn
debt justice

The man from Ballyhea Says No is running for the Dáil

Diarmuid O’Flynn will run for the Independent Alliance in Cork North-West.

DIARMUID O’FLYNN, THE journalist and campaigner who has marched against payments to bondholders every week for over four years, is running for the Dáil.

O’Flynn is one of the founders of the Ballyhea Says No group which has staged weekly marches in Cork every Sunday since March 2011 in protest against the imposition of bank losses on Irish taxpayers.

The group has said it will not stop its weekly marches in Ballyhea and Charleville until Ireland achieves debt justice. O’Flynn is now hoping to take his campaign to the Dáil and will run as an Independent Alliance candidate in Cork North-West.

“For the last four-and-a-half years we’ve been going to various politicians to try and do our work for us, but at this stage you can’t be asking others to do the work for you if you’re not prepared to put yourself forward,” he told today.

The community activist’s campaign is being launched in Ballyhea by the journalist Eamon Dunphy who has become involved with the Independent Alliance in recent weeks.

The loose political grouping’s putative leader Shane Ross and other TDs, including Michael Fitzmaurice and John Halligan and senator Gerard Craughwell, will also be at the launch.

In recent times O’Flynn has been working as a parliamentary assistant to Midlands North-West MEP Luke Ming Flanagan having failed in his own bid to get elected to the European Parliament in Ireland South last year.

O’Flynn said the debt justice issue would be his major campaign message and criticised the media for not covering the fact Ireland is still paying for the economic crisis and subsequent EU/IMF bailout.

“The biggest falsehood being presented at the moment is that the bank debt issue is done and dusted. In June, €500 million of borrowed money was destroyed by the Central Bank and the same in August.

Not a single word is being spoken about the fact that we are in the process of destroying borrowed money. To my mind, that’s a massive issue.

He said he was also heavily involved in the water charges movement and was a “huge supporter” of the work being done by independent TD Mick Wallace and the Social Democrat leader Catherine Murphy.

The Independent Alliance said in a statement today that it was delighted to welcome a “strong, independent, credible” candidate. O’Flynn said he was attracted to the alliance because it allows him to maintain his independence while having a support system.

“This group has core principles, but there is no whip so you maintain the freedom of conscience issues,” he said.

If I were elected I would have all this experience and help. There’s a learning curve that’s involved in all of this and the more help you can have the better. You’re independent but you’re not alone.

O’Flynn said he hoped voters would put aside party politics in the next general election and pick the candidate that can best represent them.

Cork North-West is a three-seat constituency which elected Fine Gael’s Micheal Creed and Aine Collins and Fianna Fáil’s Micheal Moynihan in 2011.

All three are running for re-election with Fianna Fáil also running Aindrias Moynihan. Sinn Féin is running Nigel Dennehy, the Greens are running Cormac Manning. Independents John Paul O’Shea, the current mayor of Cork county, Steven O’Riordan and Shirley Griffin have also put their names forward.

 Read: ‘Greece should drop the euro – and so should Ireland’

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