Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

My evening with Cóir

September 1st, 2009 · 16 Comments · Irish Politics, Lisbon

As our service to the nation last night myself and Alexia attended a public meeting of Cóir in the Skylon Hotel.

The last time I had anything to do with Cóir’s bedfellows – sorry I mean landlords – was when Youth Defence spent St. Patricks Day assaulting myself and other participants in the National Lesbian and Gay Federations St. Patrick’s Day Parade entry in 1995. Eggs and rotten fruit were their chosen weapons.

Given this and my observation of the Cóir operation from afar I’m sure I had better things to be doing with a Monday night but I did want to see what they would say on their own turf. Also from a online point of view it was good to use twitter and video etc. to let those at home find out what is happening. (More of that later in the week by the way.)

In attendance were about 60 members of the public/Youth Defence activists. Several of whom had been recruited by a letter posted to them due to their activism and interest in pro-life issues. I saw one of the letters before the meeting started shown to me by one of the attendees who was having the pre-meeting cigarette.

The audience was mainly male and over 40. Before the meeting started I overheard some people talking about their disappointment in the hierarchy at their lack of leadership and being too liberal. We had gatecrashers and a bit of storming out too during the event! The aim of the meeting was to inform and also organise with a heavy hint at recruitment for door to door canvassing.

There is a lot of money being spent on backdrops and leaflets. I’ve yet to read the literature placed on my chair but we were given sheets of blank Cóir letterhead which I’ll find a use for I’m sure. Cóir spend a lot of time saying that their meetings are packed – well if they pick small hotel rooms this would not be difficult.

The meeting was chaired by a member of Cóir, Scott Schittl, who is American naturalised Irish Citizen and from a bit of Internet rooting I note is a Latin Mass activist.

The speakers were the main spokesperson Richard Greene, Cóir spokesperson and ‘legal expert’ (A diploma from Kings Inns makes it so seemingly) Brian T. Hickey, and a representative from the Irish Fisherman’s Organisation in Waterford, Cathleen Ni hAod ?. There was a bonus speaker who I don’t think the organisers knew what to do with or were very comfortable with politically – someone from head office obviously sent him along – Jens Pieter Bonda is back in town. The former Danish MEP who appeared on Irish TV a lot during Lisbon I, is back for press conferences and interviews and the like – you have been warned.

You can watch many of the speeches on Alexia’s blog – they went out live on Qik, and the organisers objected to this when the meeting was nearly over. This was more than a bit strange given that they were recording the meeting for their own purposes. (Update: Alexia has now also uploaded the audio from the questions and answers session.)

Richard Greene says that the Broadcasting Complaints Commission have lost Cóir’s complaint about RTE’s lack of coverage of their campaign since June 13th.

In summary from the audience, terrible speeches and lack of focussed message and the range of well, types of local eejit that were in the room (one man was using all the take away menus he received as a example of why Ireland’s sovereignty is being threatened) I would say Cóir couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. But then you look outside the hotel with the posters and the messages which have dominated the airwaves on day one of the Lisbon II campaign and the confusion and lies that are in operation. Only 32 days to go.



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