Sunday 16 June 2019

More than 100,000 expected to gather for local protests

Protesters march on the streets of Dublin during a demonstration against water charges. Photo: PA
Protesters march on the streets of Dublin during a demonstration against water charges. Photo: PA

Brian Byrne and Ralph Riegel

UPWARDS of 100,000 people are expected to protest in at least 70 locations nationwide in the latest revolt against water charges.

Some 20 demonstrations will take place tomorrow in the capital, with more than 50 further protests planned in many locations across the country.

In Dublin, these include Cabra, Clondalkin, Coolock, Crumlin, Donaghmede/Kilbarrack, Donnybrook, Donnycarney, Drimnagh, Dun Laoghaire, Dundrum, Finglas, Greenhills, Harold's Cross, North Stand Road, Pearse Street, Rialto, Ringsend, Tallaght, Walkinstown, York Street and Swords.

Further afield, demonstrations are also planned in Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Meath, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. It is expected further locations will be added by tomorrow.

The protests, which are to begin at various times, follow the national demonstration held on October 11 outside the GPO on Dublin's O'Connell Street, which drew unprecedented crowds of an estimated 80,000.

The demonstrations are organised by the Right2Water campaign, which is backed by a number of trade unions and political parties including Sinn Fein, the Anti-Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit.

Newly-elected TD Paul Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance said the local protests will "demonstrate that the panic measures by the Government designed to ease in the water charges will have had little effect.

"Momentum continues to gather and people who at the outset were unsure if we could beat this unjust tax have been enormously boosted by the high levels of activity, meetings and protests across the State.

"The ongoing effective resistance to the water meter installation programme and the mass non-compliance with the Irish Water packs are two massive blows to their agenda.

"It all bodes well for the decisive stage when the bills are issued to us all in January."

United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly added: "We are calling on all citizens to play their part in this, our developing history. Find the protest near you, turn out with your family and friends."

Right2Water is also planning to host a further national demonstration outside Dail Eireann on Wednesday, December 10.

Separately, a number of groups including New Land League and the 'Dublin Says NO' groups are planning to stage two marches in opposition to water charges at 2pm tomorrow.

The marches will leave Heuston and Connolly stations and follow a route through the south and north sides of the city before converging at the GPO.


A spokesman said the demonstration will include performances by Eamonn Campbell of The Dubliners, comedian Aidan Killian, singer Mick Black and The Invincibles.

Meanwhile, a briefing by Irish Water for councillors from Cork, Kerry and Clare had to be abandoned yesterday after protesters gained access to a conference room causing councillors to object to the meeting proceeding in public.

The protesters evaded security at the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork at 11.30am to get into the room.

Irish Water officials had initially agreed to allow the briefing to go ahead once the protesters remained at the rear of the room and did not interrupt proceedings. Protesters would also have been allowed ask a few questions at the conclusion of the information session.

However, several councillors privately voiced their concerns to Irish Water officials and the briefing was adjourned and finally postponed, to be rescheduled for a later date.

Irish Independent

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