2014 will be looked back on as the year when everything changed in Ireland. In the early part of the year Ireland managed to exit from the Troika bailout without a continuation of financial support. The economy went into recovery and unemployment started to fall. One would have expected a rise in support for the government of Fine Gael and Labour but in fact quite the opposite happened.
The reason was an explosion from below on the issue of water charges, the final austerity straw that broke the camel’s back. Despite attempts by the government, the state and the media that the anti water charges campaign is being led, hijacked and manipulated by ‘trots’, the hard left and even republican dissidents, the movement has been extremely spontaneous.