The Allsop Auction: No Rule of Law In Ireland

Yesterday, Dublin bore witness to an act of opportunistic thuggery and mob rule. A lawful auction was disrupted, and a company was forced to close its premises on Pembroke Street. No arrests were made; Gardai were happy to look on and cede authority to a group of mouth-breathing bandits.

Mouth-breathers may be too generous a description. Here’s Tom D’Arcy of Direct Democracy Ireland. The factual errors combined with the confidence of his delivery make for 20 seconds of comedy greatness:

In fairness, he may be confusing Countess Markievicz with his contemporary fallen rebel, Janice Connolly. An easy mistake.

Its fun to laugh at jackasses telling auctioneers to ‘go back home to England’, or calling them Black and Tans, or belting out the national anthem. Yet there may be a more sinister element here. The event in question was an auction of repossessed investment properties, including holiday homes. Now, the Irish don’t like repossessions. They probably bring back bad memories from the 19th century (hence, the bizarre evocation of nationalism by the protesters). This aversion to seeing anybody lose their property was stretched to absurdity last year, when Ireland’s Occupy movement came to protest the eviction of a millionaire couple in the exclusive neighborhood of Killiney, even though this couple owned dozens of other properties in Ireland and no less than 13 apartments in London. They also happened to owe over €2 million to a recently nationalized bank, a.k.a. the taxpayer, but the irony was lost on the Occupy crowd.

But who would be motivated to come out for an emotional protest where no families have lost their homes and no tenants have found themselves on the streets? Who was really behind this farce?

Among the protesters I spotted in the pictures in today’s newspapers is Jerry Beades. Beades is a property developer well connected to the Fianna Fáil party and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. He’s currently being pursued by Ulster Bank for €3.5m in unpaid loans. Members of the Dáil involved include Michael Healy-Rae and Mattie McGrath. Hardly paragons of integrity. McGrath is a cute hoor who cynically left his disgraced party to run as an independent in 2011, but still curries favor with them at every opportunity. Healy-Rae’s parliamentary office made €2,600 worth of phone calls to RTE to make sure he won a reality show.

It is being said that most of the protesters were dragged from another demonstration in front of the Anglo-Irish Bank HQ on the same day. Were people being cynically manipulated here?

I do hope the auction goes ahead. These things are necessary in order to bring Irish property values back to their normal market rate. I also hope the Gardai will have the good sense to make some arrests and uphold the rule of law if this happens again. In this time of economic hardship, I find it disturbing to see the Gardai persistently gawking at flagrant demonstrations of contempt for the law. It is ranging from comparatively minor incidents involving illegal turf-cutting to allowing paramilitary funerals and demonstrations go unhindered in Dublin’s northside. To borrow some terms from Yeats, describing the atmosphere of Europe after WWI, if the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy will be loosed upon the world. Ireland should endeavor not to be a new Weimar.

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About Cranky Notions
Reactionary. That fella from the Norris scandal.

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