Defiant residents block installation of water meters in two Cork estates

Irish Water met with stiff resistance in Cork yesterday as defiant residents blocked meter installation in two estates.

Anti-water charges protestors joined residents of Curraheen Estate on the southside of the city and of Ard Cashel estate in Watergrasshill, on the northern outskirts, to block contractors from entering their estates.

Residents of Curraheen Estate said they wanted to send a strong message to Irish Water and the Government that opposition to charges is as strong as ever.

Curraheen resident John O’Sullivan, a retired city council worker, said the Government is trying to crucify ordinary people.

“We have no more to give. We can’t give any more. What do they want fro people? There are children going to bed hungry. They are throwing people out of their homes and bailing out banks. They don’t think anything of the ordinary people.”

Irish Water began metering in the city early last month. Contractors have been installing meters in several housing estates in the Bishopstown area without incident. But as they moved to nearby Curraheen Estate yesterday, they were met by a protest at the estate entrance, and left.

Protesters said it was a taste of the strong and determined resistance they will face in several city suburbs as the city’s water metering programme continues.

Mr O’Sullivan was among a group of about 30 people from Curraheen Estate who blocked contractors working on behalf of Irish Water from entering the estate at around 6.30am. He said several residents of entire streets within the estate are displaying ‘No meter, no consent’ signs, and are determined to hold out against meter installation.

He said he and his neighbours will maintain their blockade indefinitely: “We will stick it out here as long as it takes,” he said.

And he said he will never vote for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or Labour again: “Labour should be ashamed of themselves,” he said.

One of his neighbours, Ciara, said she is prepared to stand at the estate entrance for as long as it takes: “I’m prepared to stay here and fight against this.”

Watergrasshill residents also vowed to maintain a blockade at their estate.

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