Ireland: Jailings a scandal!

The jailing of Joe Higgins TD and Cllr Clare Daly is a scandal. The Ansbacher Millionaires tax dodgers go free. Liam Lawlor is at liberty. But two public representatives with the courage of their convictions who stand up for working class people are sent to Mountjoy. These jailings must not be allowed to continue.

Bertie Ahern accuses those who haven’t paid the Bin Tax as "spongers". But the real spongers are big-business and the corrupt politicians who avoid the rule of law every day.

But when working class representatives are jailed they receive the full force of the law. Not only a one month sentence in Mountjoy but also costs of the case which could amount to 40 000 Euros. That is why the campaign has launched a defence fund to raise money to pay for these costs (see below for details)

Build a mass movement against the Jailings and the Bin Tax

What is needed now is for the campaign in the communities to continue to resist non-collection, defy unjust laws and spread the campaign to all parts of the city. All our democratic rights were won by standing up to the establishment and defying unjust laws.

These jailings have set an extremely damaging precedent. It opens the way for similar attacks to be made on trade unionists and those in the community fighting for the interests of working class people – this is why these attacks have to be defeated.

Free Joe and Clare campaign

The campaign to free Joe and Clare and against the Bin tax should be taken in the workplaces and unions. This is crucial now. Obviously it is the responsibility of the trade union leaders to call strike action. However, through Social Partnership, many of these leaders are closer to the politicians and big business than they are to their members. Considering the seriousness of the situation and the anger over the jailings workplace walkouts and protests need to be organised against the jailings as soon as possible. Union members are already discussing taking action.

A mass campaign in the communities and workplaces can force the government and Fingal council to back down. The Bin Tax is the thin end of the wedge. Other taxes are following.

You have a vital role in campaigning for the release of Joe and Clare and for the scrapping of the bin-tax.

What you can do

For everyone….

  • Take a copy of the petition and photocopy it for your friends to get signatures and send it to the Ministry of Justice.
  • Write a letter of protest at the jailings and get your friends to do so. Send it to the Ministry of Justice (address given below). Please send all protest letters to the address above.
  • Write a letter of solidarity to Joe or Clare and send it to Mountjoy Prison, North Circular Road, Dublin 7.
  • Make a collection on your estate and amongst friends and send it into the campaign address or deposit your donation into the account.
  • If there are any talkshow programmes on the radio try and phone in to get to speak and tell everyone about what you think about the jailing of Joe and Clare.
  • Affiliate your community organisation to the Free Joe and Clare Campaign and send notification into the campaign

In the workplaces…

  • Arrange a discussion amongst your workmates about the jailings and the anti-bin tax campaign. Try to convince them to become involved in their local anti-bin tax campaign. Use the petitions and convince them to write protest letters to the Minister of Justice

  • Make sure you and your workmates phone and speak to your union rep to put pressure on your union to call strike action. Pass a resolution at your union branch calling for immediate action.

  • Make a collection for the campaign

But most importantly of all..

  • Discuss with you workmates over the next couple of days the possible of organising a lunchtime protest outside your workplace and build on the support for Joe and Clare by convincing people to take action such as walkouts. The only way the government will release Joe and Clare is through mass pressure like this. If you do organise action then contact the campaign (Tel: 087 2039539) and we will publicise your action.
  • Invite a speaker from Fingal Against the Bin Tax or the Free Clare and Joe Campaign to your workplace

Michael McDowell TD,

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law reform,

Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform,

72-76 St Stephen’s Green

Dublin 2

Tel: 602 8202

Fax: 676 7797



Campaign account details:

Free Clare and Joe Campaign

Allied Irish Bank

Dame Street

Dublin 2

Sort Code: 93 – 12 – 09

Account number: 00208087


Please make sure you fill your name and address on the lodgement form


Free Clare and Joe campaign

C/o 21 Elmwood Drive,


County Dublin

Tel: 087 2039539

Special financial appeal to all readers of

Support building alternative socialist media provides a unique analysis and perspective of world events. also plays a crucial role in building the struggle for socialism across all continents. Capitalism has failed! Assist us to build the fight-back and prepare for the stormy period of class struggles ahead.
Please make a donation to help us reach more readers and to widen our socialist campaigning work across the world.

Donate via Paypal

Liked this article? We need your support to improve our work. Please become a Patron! and support our work
Become a patron at Patreon!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


September 2003