Monday 28 May 2018

Organisers say weekend water protest will be biggest ever seen

Brendan Ogle: expecting 'tens of thousands' at the march
Brendan Ogle: expecting 'tens of thousands' at the march
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Organisers of the upcoming national water protest have vowed it will be the biggest yet - but they won't say how many they expect to turn up.

Marchers will meet at Connolly and Heuston train stations in Dublin at 2pm on Saturday, before converging on O'Connell Street for a rally expected to last an hour-and-a-half.

The event is being organised by trade unions affiliated with the Right2Water movement.

At a press conference yesterday to outline details of the march, Unite Trade Union official Brendan Ogle described Right2Water as the greatest mobilisation of people in the history of the State.

"We are expecting tens of thousands of people and we have sent out 500,000 leaflets.

"We think that it is going to be very big," he said. However, he refused to estimate more precisely how many demonstrators would take part.

The Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) has become the sixth trade union to join the campaign.

General secretary of the TEEU, Eamon Devoy, called for the abolition of water charges, despite the fact that he was once a member of the Labour Party, which is now supportive of the water charges.

He confirmed yesterday that he was considering rejoining the party but remained critical of its role in the introduction of water charges.

"Citizens are now being asked to take responsibility for a system that the Government has ignored for years," said Mr Devoy.

Mr Ogle said he did not believe the charges would be dropped until after the next general election.

Mr Ogle said Environment Minister Alan Kelly had lost his chance to repair the damage caused by the Irish Water fiasco.

"The issue has not only remained on the agenda but has grown with the non-payment of bills and the Eurostat debacle," he said.

Irish Independent

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