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Defiant gran vows she'll go to jail before paying her €100 levy

SHE has lived through 26 different governments and experienced several crippling recessions, but Mai Fitz-Gerald has finally had enough.

The 81-year-old grandmother of nine has vowed to go to prison before she will pay the €100 household levy.

"I am very adamant about this. It is another tax and we have been hit too much. I will do jail, it does not bother me now," she said.

Originally from Lattin-Cullen, Co Tipperary, Mrs Fitz-Gerald moved to Limerick in the 1960s.

Her husband Frank died 25 years ago, and she has four daughters and one son.

She says she will "definitely not" be changing her stance on the €100 charge.

Mrs Fitz-Gerald has just a few requirements should she end up behind bars.

"I am a pioneer all my life. I don't drink or smoke. So long as I can get Mass in the morning, get the papers in and a few good books."

She said the Government had to scrap the household levy.

"I think this is just another tax on people and the people that brought it in don't understand at all how others are living because they (TDs) have pregnant wallets.

"They suffer from a multitude of deranged ideas," she added.

With the Fine Gael-led Government just over a year in power, Mrs Fitz-Gerald said she believed it was the same as its predecessors.

"They (the Government) should be looking after the elderly better than they are looking after them. They cut us in our fuel this year -- imagine!"

Her father was a classmate of Sean Treacy, who was involved in the Soloheadbeg ambush in 1919.

"At my age, you have to think of the way the country goes. It is gone -- buggered."

Mrs Fitz-Gerald said the only harsher time she had experienced in the country was life during World War Two.

Irish Independent