Water protest group may form party
THE country's biggest anti-water charge protest group is gearing up to become a political movement ahead of the next general election.
The Right2Water campaign yesterday hosted a conference in Dublin attended by left-wing politicians, trade union officials and community associations.
The group, headed by outspoken trade union leader Brendan Ogle, is planning to draft 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 if that leads to candidates or some sort of alliance," Mr Ogle told the Herald.
The consultation phase for ideas was launched yesterday in the Communications Worker Unions Club in Dublin city centre and will be open until June 13.
Mr Ogle hopes policies will be drawn up in the coming months and the organisation can then try to 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 is not his priority.
"All things are possible, but that is not my focus. It is our ambition to try to shape society in a fairer way and that does at some stage require a different electoral mandate," he said.