National anti-water charges demo planned

Anti-water charge TDs intend to utilise the mass support against Irish Water to campaign for fair pay, better housing, and an end to the homelessness crisis.

Left-wing deputies said if Fianna Fáil or Independent TDs fail to follow through on election pledges to oppose charges, efforts will be made to boost the bills boycott.

The pledges came as Irish Water was accused of “suppressing” figures on the numbers of households which have or have not paid their bills, in the absence of a government.

AAA/PBP’s Paul Murphy criticised the stand-off between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil on the issue in talksto form a government.

The fact that the future of water bills is “a sticking point” in negotiations proves that “power and pressure of mass movement and the massive boycott campaign” have worked, he said.

Mr Murphy noted that this week also marks a year and a half since Finance Minister Michael Noonan claimed the opposition was having its “last” rally against water charges. He warned that if Fianna Fáil were to ignore the mandate they were given and do a deal with Fine Gael, homeowners had no option but to join the boycott.

“They would absolutely be vindicated in doing so and have every democratic legitimacy in doing so, having voted against water charges, having elected a majority of TDs opposed to water charges,” said Mr Murphy.

Cork North-Central TD Mick Barry warned Fianna Fail and Independent TDs, who are in government formation talks with Fine Gael, that they are “on protective notice”, adding: “The street has the power to make or break governments that make unpopular decisions.”

He said the future of marches and movements now hovered over the talks: “This is making both of the establishment parties quite nervous,” adding similar movements could be built around campaigning for “fair pay” as well as the need for “sufficient housing” and an end to homelessness.

Anti-water charge TDs with Right2Change will today discuss when to have a national demonstration — either May 14 or 21.


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