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Wednesday 20 August 2014

Water-meter work halted after protest by residents

David Raleigh

Published 17/06/2014 | 02:30

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A GROUP of residents in Limerick stopped the installation of water meters through "civil peaceful disobedience".

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A team of around 30 workers began installing the new water meters at Caherdavin from 9am but left after a group of about 40 protesters stood in front of their digging equipment.

Local resident and Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prenderville said: "They ended up packing up and going. The community stopped them in Caherdavin Park."

He said: "The protesters used different tactics today. Some of them stood in front of the jackhammer and stopped it from moving, peacefully.

"Others stood on the foot path near the meters – health and safety regulations say that you can't operate a jackhammer if there is somebody standing near the meter – so it was peaceful civil disobedience."

A line of fencing was placed along Carragh Avenue where Irish Water workers planned to begin installing meters, but work has ceased until further notice.

A spokeswoman for Irish Water last night said that they "respect the right of people to demonstrate".

However, she added that the contractors were currently exceeding the company's initial targets, despite the fact that that they "often have to operate under difficult or challenging circumstances".

"We have currently installed over 255,000 water meters to date.

"Our target initially was 30,000 per month and we are significantly exceeding that," she added.

Irish Independent

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