Water protests ‘just a taster’

Thousands of people took the streets over the weekend to tell the Government that they won’t be paying their water charges.

Rallies in Kerry, Limerick, Dublin, and Cork were said to be just a taster of the mass marches planned for next weekend.

Up to 1,500 attended a People’s Convention march in Cork City over the weekend and its spokesman, Diarmuid O Cadhla, said the event sent a clear message to the Government that the Irish people were against paying for water.

“We will be doing more and more of this. We would encourage people to come out again next Saturday November 1 as there is a national day of action against the imposition of the water tax.

“We are delighted people have taken a stand here today in Cork City. We must continue to do so.”

Among the participants in the march was Damien Moylan from Mallow, Co Cork, who previously lived in Holland. He pointed to the efficient manner in which the Dutch introduced water charges — saying the Irish authorities had a lot to learn.

“They lied about the property tax. They said we were going to get services, and we didn’t. The second thing is, I lived in the Netherlands for 11 years, and I paid for my water and I had no objection to that. Their rate is about half the rate we have here. So ultimately, you are looking at a lot of money. We have spent so much money setting up Irish Water. It is an extortionate amount. It has been badly led. It is like the HSE all over again.”

William Sheehan, also from Mallow, said he decided to attend the protest on behalf of his niece who has epilepsy and a skin condition.

“My niece Lisa has epilepsy and a skin disorder. She needs to have water. These people in Irish Water are getting bonuses. I have worked with the local authority for 18 years and I never once got a bonus. I have worked hard. I can’t give any more.”

Up to 6,000 protesters took the streets of Limerick, burning Irish Water registration packs in a barrel at the feet of a man who wore a Micheal Noonan mask.

Former mayor of Limerick John Gilligan said: “The turnout is fabulous. Thousands and thousands of ordinary people have come and the message is clear: we have been taxed to the hilt, we’re not going to accept water tax, and this message has got to go through to the Government.”

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