herald

Saturday 22 July 2017

'We have to speak up as human beings and unify against this'

Protesters (L to R) Sadhbh lawlor from Inchicore & Danielle Mckenna from Tallaght during a demonstration to coincide with Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States at the central Bank, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Dublin
Protesters (L to R) Sadhbh lawlor from Inchicore & Danielle Mckenna from Tallaght during a demonstration to coincide with Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States at the central Bank, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins Dublin

Hundreds protested in Dublin against the inauguration of Donald Trump as the billionaire property tycoon was sworn in as America's 45th president.

Among an estimated 400 demonstrators packing the Central Bank plaza last night was mature student Geraldine Robinson (52), who held up a sign reading, "No Censor of the Press".

Ms Robinson, from Phibsborough, north Dublin, likened the election of Trump to the rise of right-wing dictators in Europe in the 1930s.

"When I see this person pretending to be a president, I just see a dictator," she said.

"I see this as very, very scary. And if we tolerate this it will just slide further and further," she said.

Idiot

She spoke of her disappointment at seeing Irish American dancer Michael Flatley agree to perform at last night's inaugural ceremonies in Washington.

"People need to stand up now and not wait as they did in the Second World War," she said.

"Whether we are regular protesters or not we have to stand up and speak out as human beings and unify against this."

Mother-of-two Season Dailey (32), originally from Oxford Hills, Maine, said she was disgusted as an American citizen to see her countrymen elect "an idiot".

"I was devastated actually. It was very traumatic."

The art student, who lives in Inchicore, said she would not return home to live in America under President Trump.

"It's very divided now. I was very surprised to learn that my father actually voted for Trump," she said.

Shocking

Although many Americans were disillusioned with Hillary Clinton, no one expected such a shocking election result, she added.

Finbar Geaney (69), from Sutton, Co Dublin, said he also fears for millions of unemployed Americans in the so-called Rust Belt of states like Ohio, where Mr Trump promised during his election campaign to boost jobs.

"There is mass unemployment and Trump represents the opposition," said Mr Geaney, a retired executive with the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI).

"He pretends he's going to bring jobs but it's not going to happen.

"He has a right-wing agenda in terms of economics and there is racism and sexism as well," he added.

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