Locals form human chain to protect Cork City Library from far-right agitators

Counter protesters included the Cork Rebels for Peace and Cork Says No to Racism were amongst the groups who successfully prevented the group of far-right agitators from approaching the library.

Cork locals gather in support of library workers to counter protest far-right rally
Image: X @jimicullenmusic

On Saturday, September 2, approximately 300 people gathered outside the Cork City Library to support library workers and make a statement in opposition to the ‘Cork Says NO’ “nationalist” far-right rally held near the national monument.

Cork Rebels for Peace and Cork Says No to Racism were amongst the groups that stood in solidarity with library staff, some forming a human chain, successfully preventing the far-right agitators from accessing the library, as reported by Buzz.ie.

The counter-protest outside the Cork City Library was organised in response to the nationalist rally where roughly 100 people gathered on the other side of the Grand Parade to call for the removal of LGBTQ+ library books. Counter-protesters chanted and sang throughout the speeches at the far-right rally.


An incident occurred when a Cork library supporter in a wheelchair blew an airhorn to disrupt the event and a group of men grabbed the airhorn and threw it across the road. Gardaí intervened, reportedly making one arrest.

Speaking about the counter-protest, Trans+ Pride Cork Co-Founder Saoirse Mackin said: “The main goal for today is that the library stays open and the staff can go to work and not worry about being harassed.” When it comes to deciding what children should read, Saoirse said: “It should be down to parents and children, not a group of people trying to wipe a series of books off the face of the earth.”

Fianna Fáil Cllr John Sheehan said: “(The library) provides a wonderful resource, and the staff need to be supported and I think today’s large demonstration of people shows how much the library is held in esteem and the support for the library staff.”

Cork North-Central Sinn Féin TD, Thomas Gould, said: “I’m very proud to have spoken at today’s rally. It is a peaceful and constructive rally where people are standing in solidarity with the LGBT and the Trans community and those who chose to make Ireland their home. It is all about equality and respect, and that is the core message of today.”


The Cork City library has been repeatedly targeted by far-right groups who are attempting to remove LGBTQ+ young adult books from the shelves. The library had to close for one day in July to protect library staff and patrons after a small group of far-right Nationalists blocked the entrance with a banner.

Thankfully, groups of local supporters successfully prevented the library from being closed a second time. Cork Rebels for Peace speakers promised: “It doesn’t matter how many times they come back. How many times we need to do this. Because we will never allow the far right to stand unopposed on our streets.”


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