Sunday 4 December 2016

Rural charter with its own Cabinet minister and powers cannot come quickly enough

Seamus Boland

Published 04/03/2016 | 02:30

Anti-water charges protesters gather on O’Connell Street, Dublin, during a rally last August. Photo: Tony Gavin
Anti-water charges protesters gather on O’Connell Street, Dublin, during a rally last August. Photo: Tony Gavin

We look at the 1980s as a tough period, mainly characterised by high unemployment, high emigration, spiralling cost of living and the famous five general elections.

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This year, the anniversary of our first steps to statehood, looks pretty bleak right now. The current water fiasco, where the majority of TDs in the new Dáil are proposing to drop charges - benefiting all those who never paid and effectively penalising all those who did - looks like the 21st-century version of an unarmed civil war.

Whether this is resolved will not necessarily mean a period of stability, which in turn does not bode well for the future. Suffice to say, there is a large number of people below the poverty line who have paid the water rates and are now completely confused on what to do next.

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