Local activists say their anti-water charge protests will continue inspite of a government climb down on pricing.
“I don’t see there being any chanage in direction,” local activist and campaigner Finbar Markey told the Democrat. “This has gone beyond Irish Water at this stage. This is a fully fledged democratic movement. This government have commited electoral fraud.”
Mr Markey was among as many as 100 protestors swooped on a Fine Gael meeting held in the Crowne last week. Fine Gael councillors and members were booed as they entered the hotel.
“We knew if Fine Gael got wind of our plans they would change the location,” said Mr Markey, who described the government as being in ‘freefall’.
“We had to communicate between our members though private messaging and through texts and to keep it off line. At the exactly 8pm about 100 of us appearing from hiding around the Crowne carpark.
“We were there to protest, not to debate. Both sides of this argument know what their positions are.”
While the protest was ‘animated’ Mr Markey, who said he is not the leader of any group, said violence was not condoned.
“As Cllr (John) McGahon, came in there was maybe an attempt to jostle him, but I myself had to stop that from happening.
“We take a Charles Stewert Parnell approach to this. These politicians need to be shunned in the street. These people are puppets.”
Mr Markey says that this movement has moved beyond the issue of water charges.
“There is something more profound about what is happening. There is a real
On Wednesday, the Government announced a raft of changes and a cut to the average charge.
Fine Gael TD for Louth, Peter Fitzpatrick has said the Government’s water charges package provides a fair plan for people.
“To ensure simplicity, charges will be capped at €160 for single adult households and €260 for all other households. Once the universal water conservation grant of €100 is applied, the maximum net charges will be €60 per year, or just over €1.00 per week for single adult households. All other households’ net charge will be €160 per year, or €3.00 per week.”
Meanwhile Minister for Environment, Alan Kelly said: “We as a Government have made mistakes but now we face a critical choice. Put simply, we now have a choice that is based on either short-term emotion and anger or long-term prudence and common-sense.”