There’s more flags than masks here. Half a dozen Irish flags, just in case we forget which country we’re in. A banner is unfurled “Only slaves wear masks”. As the only person wearing a mask in this crowd of 50 outside the GPO, I stand out. A woman takes up a microphone and starts speaking about taking back control. For no particular reason she shouts “Up the Ra! And I mean the Real IRA, not those other messers!” Three gardaí (wearing masks) wander over but the speaker shouts them down. Soon the whole crowd is chanting “We have no contract with you!” (which they believe means they don’t have to obey the gardaí) until they leave. I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into.
The speaker, Dee Wall has a copy of a government 12 step plan she claims was leaked to her in March. The plan begins with the invention of the pandemic, goes through censorship of dissent, bribery of scientists, 5G is somehow involved, and ends with genetically modified humans, global depopulation and “Fascist/Communist tyranny” (I always thought you could only be one or the other). I never considered Fine Gael to be a Fascist and/or Communist party but I’m learning a lot today. The crowd seems to believe this really is government policy.
A fire truck goes past with its sirens blaring, which the crowd doesn’t believe is a coincidence, the government must have sent it to silence them. She points her finger and denounces “those dirty greedy bastards in the Dáil”, which would be more impactful except the Dáil is in the opposite direction. She addresses part of her speech directly to Leo Varadkar as she believes he always watches her livestreams.
She is telling a story about how the Serious Crime Unit (which doesn’t exist) came to her house and it’s turning into a Mrs Browns Boys sketch. They were there because she had allegedly threatened the President. “No, I did not, I love President Trump! I think he’s the best thing since sliced bread.” For some reason there is a man in the crowd wearing a “Make America Great Again” t-shirt.
She hands the microphone over to James Reilly, a man in tracksuit and jeans who seems more interested in trying out his stand-up routine than giving a political speech. There’s comedy gold like “Mee-hole” Martin, “the dandy Ghandhi Leo Varadkar” and “Dr Death Tony Hoola-hoop Holohan”. He has no sense of timing whatsoever, so he doesn’t get any laughs even from this supportive crowd.
He tries a more direct method to win over the audience and declares: “Covid does not exist!” Well this is a surprise, I guess it was all a fuss over nothing and we can go back to the pub. “There is no scientific evidence in the world that shows Covid exists.” It’s all part of the global takeover to bring in the New World Order but he doesn’t mention if there’s scientific evidence for that claim. “When you have a nappy on your face, it’s going to cause you to be brain dead long term. That’s a fact. This is empirical evidence by the way.” The crowd is convinced and they chant “Covid is a hoax”.
The microphone is next handed over to Andy Heasman, who reminds us we are outside the GPO and calls for people to make a stand for their freedom and rights. It’s an inspirational until he explains his plan is for people to try to gain entrance to SuperValu without a mask, which is a bit anti-climactic. It’s one thing to fight for liberty, but fighting for SuperValu isn’t much of a rally point. He says people are brainwashed into obeying lockdown due to mind control, which is probably a metaphor, but honestly at this stage I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t.
He kicks it up a gear by telling everyone how the Book of Revelations predicts the Antichrist will mark everyone with the mark of the Beast and what do you know, the facemask is this very mark. I didn’t think people two thousand years ago would predict facemasks of all things, but what do I know, I don’t even go to Mass. The speaker locks eyes on me, still the only person wearing a mask in the crowd and declares he knows all those with the mark are going to Hell. A elderly woman taps me on the arm and ask if I wouldn’t take my mask off. She seems very worried for me. His speech ends with the crowd saying the Our Father and then repeating it in Irish.
Just when I think I’ve heard it all, a man declares to the audience “You’re all going to be killed”. They laugh, thinking he’s joking. He’s not. He tells them this is the start of a mass genocide. This is a hell of a way to open a speech. He informs us all wealth will be confiscated and there will be major food shortages. He warns us the army is ready to go across the world and enforce the globalist plan. Good luck to the Irish Defence Forces if they’re planning on conquering the world. He looks straight at the audience, “Most of you will be dead by 2025”, which doesn’t provoke too much of a reaction.
He demands if we have ever heard of a vaccine with a tracking system in it. He’s not wrong, I haven’t, although the audience draws different conclusions than I do. Next on the list of Definitely Real Things Certainly Planned by the Government, is a plan to inject children with hormone adjusters to make them hermaphrodites. At this point I’m not even sure this makes the list of top 5 craziest things I’ve heard today. Every time I think I’ve hit peak crazy, the next minute something even crazier is said. My poor brain can’t keep up and I’d miss some of the crazy if I wasn’t taking notes. Eventually he runs out of ways to say we’re all going to die and finishes up with “I don’t know what else to say”. Neither do I.
As the only person wearing a mask, I get a lot of suspicious looks. People start staring and whispering about why would someone wear a mask to an anti-mask rally? I hear dark muttering about a “snitch”. A woman decides to play Sherlock Holmes and crack the mystery. What possible reason could I have for wearing a mask – it must be to hide my identity. She doesn’t believe I’m a student journalist (I was doing a college assignment on news reporting) and goes around the rally telling everyone I’m an “Antifa Rat”. A camera is stuck in my face, I wonder what the caption will be when they post my photo online? At the start of the protest, when the crowd chanted “Take off your mask”, it was a general call to the nation, but by the end, they are focused directly on me. It’s time to leave.