Monday 26 September 2016

Right2Water gearing up to become political movement

Published 01/05/2015 | 17:58

Crowds show red cards to the Government during the Right2Water anti-water charges protest outside Leinster House in Dublin last December
Crowds show red cards to the Government during the Right2Water anti-water charges protest outside Leinster House in Dublin last December

THE country’s biggest anti-water charge protest group is gearing up to become a political movement ahead of the next general election.

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The Right2Water campaign today hosted a conference in Dublin attended by left-wing politicians, trade union officials and community groups.

The group, which is head up by outspoken trade union leader Brendan Ogle, is planning to draft up policies in the coming months ahead of forming a left-wing political alliance.

“What we want to do is start off with ideas and principles and see if they lead to policies and then see does that lead to candidates or some sort of alliance,” Mr Ogle told the herald.

The consultation phase for ideas was launched today in the Communications Worker Unions Club in Dublin City Centre and will be open until the 13 June.

Mr Ogle hopes policies will be drawn up in the coming months and the organisation can then try form an alliance between trade unions, community groups and politicians.

There are also plans to sanction opinion polls to gauge the public’s appetite for a new left-wing political movement. Mr Ogle did not rule out running as a candidate in a general election but said it was not his priority.

 “All things are possible but that is not my focus. It is not my ambition, it has never been my ambition. It is our ambition to try shape society in a different, fairer way and that does at some stage require a different electoral mandate,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said her party supported the campaign and insisted there is still huge public anger over the introduction of water charges.

“We’ve always held the view that the water issue was hugely significant but in many ways it was a tipping point for public anger and dissatisfaction around other things. I don’t think public disenchantment with the Government in anyway decreased,” Ms McDonald said.

Brendan Ogle
Brendan Ogle

The event was also attended by a number of left-wing TDs including Catherine Murphy, Paul Murphy, Ruth Coppinger and Clare Daly.

Garda Whistleblower John Wilson also attended.

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