Sunday 22 April 2018

Protesters stand their ground on water meters

Some protestors against water meter installation at Carton Heights, Sligo on Wednesday afternoon.
Some protestors against water meter installation at Carton Heights, Sligo on Wednesday afternoon.

Emma Gallagher

A group of around 20 people staged a demonstration in Cartron Heights, Sligo against the installation of water meters.

The protest was held on Wednesday afternoon and sub contractors GMG Sierra were stopped from installing the meters for approximately two hours.

GMG Sierra are installing the meters on behalf of Irish Water throughout the county at present.

One of the demonstrators, Kevin Broaders, said that Ireland's water infrastructure is being stolen by a private company.

He explained: "Something that is already our own is being taken from us and sold back.

"There is no telling what the charges will become, it is almost inevitable that they will keep rising.

"Water is being taken from us and privatised, it is the highest injustice."

Clr Seamus O'Boyle, from the People Before Profit Party, said that people have no choice.

"They are being threatened with being cut off from their water supply.

"We all know what happens when a company is privatised.

"We are trying to make a stand against it here – we said it in the local elections and unlike other parties we are making the point.

"People feel that they cannot say anything, that they cannot make a stand, that's what we are doing."

He added that a number of locals were in support.

"We said that we were going to oppose water charges and there will be more protests.

"It is going to be a long campaign," he added.

Katie O'Boyle, Joseph Scanlon and Gino O'Boyle, from the Right To Water group were also at the protest.

Katie said: "We don't have a problem with the workers, it is about the taxes that we are already paying.

"They say that this is about water conservation, it is not, we are being double taxed."

Gino O'Boyle added: "The whole implementation of water charges is a disgrace.

"We are happy with the turnout, we have been getting support from local people, this is a peaceful protest."

The work of the contractors wasn't halted with the workers on a lunch break during the half hour demonstration.

Sligo Champion