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'Fly the flag' Facebook campaign launched to boost community spirit

Campaign organiser Tom Pollard says he hopes flying the tricolour more will encourage Irish people amidst the economic doom and gloom.

Image: sjdunphy via Flickr

A NEW FACEBOOK campaign encouraging people to fly the Irish flag from their cars, homes, schools and businesses has been launched in a bid to create community cohesion around the country.

The co-organiser of the campaign Tom Pollard says the campaign has two main aims: firstly, to reach out to people who feel isolated and are struggling amid austerity, and secondly to remind politicians that people want conditions in Ireland to improve.

Pollard says the idea came to him while reading TheJournal.ie and the comments posted on the site:

Every day there’s an avalanche of austerity measures and news about Merkel and Sarkozy, it looks like there’s enemies all around us. We’ve so many things going against us, all we have is our elected government fighting our cause but we still don’t see any changes coming.

He said that he started to post comments calling for people who were unhappy with current conditions to contact him to set up a group who could meet and discuss the issues.

However, he said just one person, Mick, sent him his email address. Through emails and by phone, the two men began discussing ways to encourage Irish pride.

“We both agreed that we need to put a bit of colour back into our lives, but in some way that’s not expensive or means you don’t have to go to Dublin for a march, but some gesture,” Pollard said. “And we thought, ‘What about flying the flag?’”

Pollard says that the flag project could be a positive means of reigniting community spirit for people who feel things are futile or who need a helping hand to get by, while also reminding politicians that the people are watching their decisions.

“It might just give the politicians an extra push – they need that boost. Not a kick in the arse, but encouragement to fight on and think about things before making a decision. We’re really proud to be Irish still and don’t forget that when you’re fighting our corner.”

He also says that he doesn’t believe that Irish people are a ‘nation of begrudgers’, but rather people are happy to help when they realise there is a problem in their community:

We do have solutions, but we’re just not encouraged in this country. We have a brilliant intellect and spirit and education. And culture helps, sport and music, we can support each other.

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