Peace Rally to be held to counter far-right protest due to take place outside Cork City Hall

A Rebel Rally for Peace is to be held in Cork on Saturday 4 January. The rally has been organised by Cork Rebels for Peace to counter a far-right protest due to take place on the same day. The far-right rally has been organised in order to protest against the government’s proposed updating of Ireland’s hate speech laws.

Fighting intolerance

Cork Rebels for Peace describes itself as “a broad spectrum of left political & community activists”. It goes on to highlight that the Rally for Peace will “show the far right that Cork city will not succumb to intolerance”.

The Rebels for Peace will be counter-protesting a far-right “Freedom of Expression” rally. On the Facebook page for the event the organisers of the far-right rally state that they will be there to “Stand and and Speak out against Fine Gael’s Hate Speech Legislation”. 

The counter-protestors have argued that

Freedom of speech is an important aspect of our democracy. However, it must never be abused to incite hatred or to deny atrocities.

Speaking to CorkBeo, one of the organisers of the rally for peace said

We want hate speech laws to be enacted and for people to be safe and be protected. Cork is for everyone. There are communities in the city who feel scared and who need that legislation to come in.

Previous protests

Similar protests were held in Dublin in December. Roughly 400 people attended a Rally for Peace on Earth on 14 December to counter a far-right “Free Speech Rally” outside Leinster House. A number of people were arrested after minor scuffles broke out. 

A number of placards were displayed by the far-right protestors, with one of them calling for people to “Make Ireland Irish Again”. Several well-known Irish far-right activists were also seen attending the “Free Speech Rally”.

Featured image via Unsplash – Matteo Paganelli