Monday 22 January 2018

Clare Daly: Jailing water protesters will only 'inflame' people

David Kearns

Independent TD Clare Daly has warned the Government of “inflaming ” those protesting water charges as five people are jailed for breaching court orders.

Ms Daly criticised the decision to jail Bernie Hughes (Finglas), Michael Batty (Raheny) and Derek Byrne (Donaghmede) after a court found them in breach of barring orders intended to keep them 20 metres away from water meter installations.

“I’ve seen the footage and it was absolutely a peaceful protest,” she told the Ray D’Arcy Show.

“The only thing that these imprisonments will do is enflame people.”

Speaking about one of the protestors, Ms Daly said that Ms Hughes was a “tireless campaigner” for her community and that she was among “the best of people”.

The Finglas native was arrested and imprisoned alongside Ms Daly in 2002 when they were protesting against the introduction of bin charges.

“We were proved right in the end; Government privatised the service and now prices have sky rocketed. Everything we warned about came to pass. That’s why we need to protest these water charges,” Ms Daly said.

Addressing her upcoming court appearance over charges that she and Deputy Mick Wallace trespassed in a restricted zone at Shannon airport, Ms Daly said that she was only trying to find the evidence that the US was using the airport to transport arms.

Evidence she said that then Justice Minister Alan Shatter asked for. “He said show me the evidence, and that’s just what we were trying to do,” she said.

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