Best-selling author Joseph O'Connor (above)has weighed in on the Irish Water controversy, slamming the government for "grotesquely" mishandling the process and showing a complete lack of empathy and sensitivity.
Speaking at an event to introduce Narrative 4 (N4), a global organisation that fosters empathy by breaking down barriers, the novelist said politicians need to listen more.
"It would be a grotesque exaggeration to say we are becoming a police state, but I think there is a fear and resentment of authority that I don't remember from when I was younger, and I think that's what is coming to the surface with the water protests. I think people have just said you are not going to tell me what to do anymore."
Mr O'Connor believes the people who are opposed to water charges will win.