Peaceful Pumpkin Protest

The Peaceful Pumpkin Protest was organised for today. An ‘ordinary’ father, Richard O’Toole, from Dún Laoghaire, was concerned enough to organise the protest. He spoke to Tom Dunne on Newstalk about a fortnight ago, set up a facebook page and wrote to the Irish Times.

As if that wasn’t enough, the story was taken up by other websites, such as and even Marian Finucane mentioned it yesterday on her morning radio show. Sure, I even put the word out on Dublin South Radio last Wednesday when I was on Morning View with Bryan Foxe.

We were expecting a few hundred people, and, in our more optimistic moments, thought that maybe even as many as a thousand Irish people might turn up outside the Merrion Gates of Dáil Eireann to register their dissatisfaction with the current government and the hames  they are making of running the country.

It was expected that these people would turn up with their children, in fancy dress if they so wished, and with a pumpkin to protest. We have plenty to protest against; the cuts that have been made, the cuts that are about to be made, NAMA, the Mercedes-Benz fleets, Garda drivers for former Taoisigh and plenty more.

So, how many people turned up? Apart from myself and my two children, only about 40. How is that apathy in action?

People of Ireland, My brothers and sisters of Ireland, Mná na hEireann agus Fir na hEireann – where are you? What are you doing now that your country needs you? It’s all very well to moan and whinge, but if you’re not prepared to actually do something, then you don’t really have a right to moan and whinge, do you?

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Hazel Katherine Larkin


8 thoughts on “Peaceful Pumpkin Protest”

  1. Eloquently put Ladiescribbles. But perhaps this is only the start. We have yet to walk as a nation, not yet able to run.
    I have every faith in the men and women of Ireland.
    Thanks for coming.


    1. Hi Richard!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I thought it was great that people turned up and I thought you were wonderful to have organised it – but where were all the people who say that ‘something’ must be done, and then do nothing when presented with the opportunity to do something?! 🙂

      There were so few who turned up that I was thinking the next should be a ‘turnip’ protest.



  2. came across a pumpkin (with candle!) outside Dáil tonight on Merrion Sq – had no idea what it was for. Sounds like an excellent idea – sorry I couldn’t make it


  3. Hi Hazel,

    The morning after I have been thinking on The Peaceful Pumpkin Protest with mixed feelings. All in all everything you wrote above sums up completely and utterly my feelings on the subject.
    I would like to follow up on this in some way and turn the negatives into a positive.
    Would you be willing to let me submit a letter to the Irish Times for next Saturday and quote your words within it? They will be attributed to you of course.
    Irish people don’t seem to know how to protest or maybe it’s simply that things have yet to get bad enough for them.
    Best wishes and thank you for coming along with your two beautiful daughters.


    1. Hi Richard

      I’m delighted to learn that you are not going to give up!!

      I’d be thrilled for you to use my words in any way you see fit.

      I really think we should have another peaceful protest in a month or so – perhaps make it a monthly thing on the last Sunday of the month? And I really *do* think we should bring turnips. That way, no matter what happens, we can honestly say that there was a great turnip or even a big turnip at the event. (Sorry – thinking with my journo hat on!).

      Warm regards



  4. I am sorry to hear that so few people and pumpkins turned up, I hadn’t heard of the idea myself as I only listen to the radio intermittently and was avoiding facebook as I can get lost there…

    If I had known about it I would have helped to broadcast the idea however living in Leitrim I am unlikely to have made the trip as we were busy with putting a roof on our self-build at the weekend with the help of a few friends.

    I am glad to see that Richard is not downcast either and is continuing his quest. There is something about us as a nation – how much do we take before we REALLY say enough is enough?

    Imagine if we were more like the French…. I think that our politicians would be much more attuned to how we felt and I think that they would have to change how they themselves think.

    Sure out fellas can just carry on doing anything they want to us and we will just mumble into our pints and let them get on with it.

    We really do need to be more revolting……


  5. Just heard about this on Marian Finucane earlier so I missed the boat. More or less on media blackout at the moment as it’s all so depressing. But at least I’m not alone in feeling powerless.

    Never voted for FF so this feeling is not a new one – the alienation of living in a country that continued to elect these corrupt halfwits time after time.

    What’s to be done? Agree with Paul Summerville – an election fast. Slash the mercs and perks. To hell with the bank bondholders. Will it happen? Unlikely. Sense of hopelessness prevails.


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