People Power Wins At Old Head of Kinsale

March 31 2002

Raising the flag at the lighouse


Well over a hundred activists and protesters braved the elements, hostile private security, newly erected fencing and barbed wire at the Old Head of Kinsale on Easter Sunday to score yet another important victory for free public access to the Old Head of Kinsale Walk.

Old Head of Kinsale

Pic: The Old Head of Kinsale with the golf course gate in the centre, note the ugly fence running on top of the wall which prevents public access

The protest, organised by Cork Peace Alliance, Kinsale Residents Association as well as anarchists and socialists from Cork City, was also supported by a large contingent from the second Grassroots Gathering, an anti-authoritarian gathering held at the CAZ Centre in Cork over Easter Weekend. Protesters began gathering at the entrance to the "very private" Old Head of Kinsale Golf Club from about 2 PM onwards on Sunday afternoon. Although security was noticeably stronger than on past occasions &endash; upwards of 40 private security operatives were on duty &endash; and the Golf Club had used the interval of the long winter to strengthen the defences on the wall dividing the course from Old Head of Kinsale roadway, there was determination that this first protest of the new season would once again see the people succeeding in their basic right to walk and enjoy the scenic amenity that is this area.

Members only at the golf course
Pic: Making sure we get the message, three signs to tell us its 'members only, and rolls of razor wire

Not surprisingly Gardai who were also there in numbers were keen to argue the Golf Course owner's right to 'allow or not allow people' onto the Old Head. A Garda Superintentent warned protesters that they had to respect the Golf Club and that the Gardai were there to uphold that that right and ensure no 'illegal action' took place. Although the Gardai attempted to persuade protesters 'to negotiate' with the Old Head Golf Club's management to be 'allowed' to walk in the area on the afternoon, a majority of protesters declined to do this and pressed ahead with plans to scale the ramparts, fencing and barbed wire. Old carpets were brought forward and laid across the barbed wire paving the way for activists to safely scale the fences. Shortly after the first protesters were running to freedom on the Old Head, a development that quickly forced the Golf Club Management to concede and open the main gate into the traditional Old Head Walk.

The ditch at the Old Head of Kinsale

Pic: The ditch in front of the wall

Fence and razor wire at Old Head of Kinsale
Pic: Scaling the fence after climbing the ditch and wall, note carpet over razor wire

Large sections of protesters then entered the Old Head area and walked along the route to the Lighthouse. With improving weather, a picnic and get together was held. At a mass meeting of the walkers/ protesters at the Lighthouse, it was decided to renew and extend the struggle to free the Old Head by organising protests at the site throughout the coming summer months. The next protest has called for Sunday May 12th (same time and same assembly details). Pass it on and tell your friends. If we can make the protests as large this summer as we did last year (on occasions 1000 protested), then we will send a powerful message to the rich fat cats at the Golf Club and in this area that they can't buy public amenities and the free air &endash; we won't stand for it.

Meeting at the light house at the Old Head of Kinsale in Cork
Pic: Meeting at the light house

Photographers and cops
Pic: These men were taking pictures of the protesters

Once again the Old Head saw the power of direct action to take a struggle forward. With determination and numbers we can win this important fight!

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The lighthouse at the Old head of Kinsale, Ireland

Pic: Liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice

Useful links

Club house at old head of Kinsale golf course
Pic: Crossing the golf course, the club house is on the horizon


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Security cameras at Old Head of Kinsale
Pic: Security cameras just inside the gate


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Anarchists at the Old head of Kinsale
Pic: Showing we enjoyed the experience

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