herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Water protests set to bring city to a standstill

Protesters are campaigning against water charges
Protesters are campaigning against water charges

MORE than 100,000 people are expected to take to Dublin's streets over the weekend for the biggest water protest in the country.

Groups from all over Ireland are due to take part in a march that is sure to bring mayhem to the capital.

Traffic in the city centre is expected to come to a standstill with the marchers set to take two separate routes in an attempt to cause maximum disruption.

Split

Half of the protesters will meet at Heuston Station before embarking on a route towards Ormond Quay, Jervis Street and Parnell Street.

They will then convene with other marchers at the GPO on O'Connell Street.

A second group will begin at Connolly Train Station before heading for the quays, Dame Street, College Green and then O'Connell Street.

Both groups are meeting at 1.30pm and marching at 2pm to target the busy Saturday shopping period.

Organiser Jerry Beades said that the numbers planning to attend show how frustrated people are with the running of Irish Water and the implementation of water charges.

"We are all pointing the one direction because the people are saying no and there has to be a better way," said Mr Beades.

"Every time that we turn a tap on we are paying for the controversial bonuses and the €50m consultants and that is what has ignited people," he added.

A group from US are flying in especially for the protest.

The Detroit-based group are opposed to the introduction of water charges after the privatisation of their city's water supply led to people who were unable to pay their bills being being cut off.

Last week, the UN spent three days in Detroit investigating why water shut-offs were necessary.

Privatised

"Water has been privatised in other parts of the world and people are not happy with it," said Mr Beades.

Saturday's protest will follow on from a gathering in Cork yesterday that led to a briefing by Irish Water for councillors from Cork, Kerry and Clare to be abandoned.

Protesters managed to get into the conference room where the briefing was to be held.

Irish Water officials had initially agreed to allow the briefing go ahead once the protesters remained at the rear of the room and did not interrupt proceedings.

However, some councillors objected to the briefing continuing with both protesters and media present.

hnews@herald.ie

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