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Friday 19 September 2014

Unions launch anti-water charge campaign

Published 22/08/2014 | 02:30

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Brendan Ogle

TWO of the country's largest trade unions have called on the Government to scrap water charges - but say they won't engage in picketing or trying to stop Irish Water contractors from installing meters in homes around the country.

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The Right2Water campaign, launched yesterday by Brendan Ogle from the Unite trade union and Mandate general secretary John Douglas, says water charges are a breach of human rights and are unconstitutional.

The group is planning to hold a demonstration in Dublin in October and aims to get 50,000 signatures on a petition opposing the national roll-out of water meters.

Mr Ogle (pictured) said the campaign was set up for various organisations, charities, and citizens "interested in unifying opposition to the incoming domestic water charges".

Mr Douglas said the current tactics of blocking workers from installing meters through a variety of means, some of which have led to demonstrators being arrested and convicted of offences in court, would not form part of the campaign.

"That wouldn't be part of our remit. Ours is a very narrow campaign. Other groups will decide their own tactics and that's for themselves to decide, we have no control over that," he said.

TDs Seamus Healy and Richard Boyd Barrett attended yesterday's launch and are supporting the campaign.

Irish Independent

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