Direct Democracy Ireland

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Direct Democracy Ireland is a minor Irish political party. It is associated with the Freeman on the land movement as well as a number of far right Catholic groups and individuals such as the Christian Solidarity Party and Richard Greene.

Contents

[edit] Overview

It was formed shortly before the 2011 Irish general election, and was officially registered in October 2012. It was founded by Raymond Whitehead, a teacher of Transcendental Meditation. [1]

The party describes itself as neither "left or right, but about balance", seeking to transform the political system from representative democracy to direct democracy, similar to the political model of Switzerland.

However, the group is closely linked to the Freemen on the land conspiracy theory movement, with a number of Irish FOTL websites and individuals supporting or organizing for the party, [2] [3] and the right-wing Christian Solidarity Party. [4][5][6] The party also has links to the anti-vaccine and alternative health lobby group, the National Health Federation.

[edit] Electoral History

At the 2011 general election two candidates stood unsuccessfully as independents under the Direct Democracy Ireland banner. Raymond Whitehead in the Dublin South constituency, polling 120 votes (0.2%),[7] and Noel Walshe in Carlow–Kilkenny (119 votes, 0.2%). Both lost their right to reclaim election expenses.

On 5 March 2013, Direct Democracy Ireland announced Ben Gilroy as its candidate in the Meath East by-election, which was held on 27 March 2013.[8] During the campaign the Christian Solidarity Party took out advertisements in support of DDI in the conservative Alive! newspaper stating that Gilroy "can be trusted on the abortion issue". [9] He finished fourth, ahead of the Irish Labour Party and the Green Party candidates.

[edit] Media Coverage

In an interview with he Irish Times, Ben Gilroy denied any links with the FOTL movement[10]. In a chucklesome touch, the article concluded:

The People for Economic Justice website also includes a photograph of a sample notice to be placed outside the door of a property to prevent access by bailiffs, court officials, debt collectors and receivers. The notice is signed “under the great seal of the Giolla Rua” by “Ben of the ancient clan Giolla Rua authorised agent for Ben Gilroy™”

This document, promising in classic Freeman style to effect the "Removal of Implied Right of Access" remains on Gilroy's website, in a section humorously entitled "Know Your Rights"[11]

On 4th July, 2013, Gilroy, alongside DDI associate Tom d'Arcy appeared at a protest against an auction of distressed properties held at the Shelbourne Hotel.[12].

Thankfully news cameras were present as d'Arcy set out to educate the masses as to the real story of Irish revolutionary history [13].

Ninety-seven years ago, people lost their lives in that park over there. [Pointing to St Stephen's Green] Constant Markievicz gave up his life to enable us to eradicate suppression, taxation, eviction, criminality.

Readers should note that Constance (not "Constant", obviously) Markievicz, a leader of the Irish Citizen Army, was a woman and did not die during the 1916 Uprising against British rule, but 11 years later. As an Irish republican socialist she was very much in favour of taxation. During the auction protest many members of DDI were accused of racist chants and telling foreign workers at the Auction House to "go home".[14]

d'Arcy is described as a "modern day Irish hero" on the DDI supporting Awaken Longford site [15]. Speaking to the Irish Times, d'Arcy described himself as having been a "roaring capitalist"[16]. At least he was while it suited him.

[edit] References

  1. http://www.thejournal.ie/election-candidates-2011/dublin-south/raymond-whitehead/
  2. http://freemanireland.ning.com/forum/topics/ben-gilroy-direct-democracy-ireland-meath-east-by-election?commentId=3214356%3AComment%3A380066&xg_source=activity
  3. http://www.tnsradio.com/43/category/ben%20gilroy/1.html
  4. Frank Connolly (April - May 2013). "Gilroy - Irish for Grillo? Direct Democracy benefited from voter ignorance in Meath East". Village Magazine, Issue 22: p. 22. 
  5. Mark Moloney (May 2013). "Ben Gilroy and Direct Democrcy Ireland: Look behind them". An Phoblacht, Vol 36, Issue 4: p. 27. 
  6. John Molyneux (1 March 2013). "Can we get real democracy?". The Socialist Worker. http://www.swp.ie/content/can-we-get-real-democracy. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  7. http://www.electionsireland.org/result.cfm?election=2011&cons=102
  8. "Ben Gilroy By-Election Interview LMFM Radio". http://directdemocracyireland.ie/author/ben/. 
  9. Richard Greene (April 2013). "Classified Ads". Alive! newspaper, Issue 188: p. 14. http://www.alive.ie/uploads/6/5/1/1/6511516/alive_april_13.pdf. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  10. "I am not now and never have been a Freeman". http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/people-for-economic-justice-founder-ben-gilroy-has-no-connection-with-freemen-on-the-land-movement-in-ireland-1.1396656. 
  11. http://peopleforeconomicjustice.com/removal-of-implied-right-of-access/
  12. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/allsop-property-auction-cancelled-due-to-protest-1.1452696
  13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXqIbWacFRQ
  14. Template:Cite episode
  15. http://awakenlongford.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/a-modern-day-irish-hero-tom-darcy/
  16. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/allsop-property-auction-cancelled-due-to-protest-1.1452696

[edit] External links

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