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'Paying €160 is no joke when you're already scrimping', says mum-of-four


Elizabeth Quinlan

Elizabeth Quinlan

Elizabeth Quinlan

Elizabeth Quinlan

Elizabeth Quinlan

A MOTHER-OF-FOUR has said she will not be paying the €160 water charge saying "we're scrimping at the end of the week as it is".

Elizabeth Quinlan (47) from Finglas in Dublin said that paying the charge will be "no laughing matter" as she has "less than €35,000 coming into the house in a year".

Ms Quinlan said she has two daughters in college and two in school.

"We just cannot afford to pay any more bills," she said.

"We're scrimping at the end of the week as it is. There's just no more money there. We're after paying the property tax, we were penalised for buying a house. There's just not enough money circulating in the house unfortunately.


"It's alright if you're on €90,000 a year. But when you have less than €35,000 coming into the house in a year, it's no laughing matter. Even if there was more, I wouldn't pay. Because we already paid through our motor tax and our VAT. I've had enough now."

Ms Quinlan, whose husband Gerard (48) works as a security guard, added that the Government's pledge to retain a cap on water charges for the next four years has brought her little comfort.

She is convinced that with her large family, she could be expected to fork out up to €800 or even €900 from 2019, when the cap expires.

"I've never done anything like this before, and I'm just thinking there, so what if it's gone down to €160. In 2019 it could go back to €800 or €900 for me. If I can't afford €160 now, how am I going to afford that a few years down the road? I just won't be able to."

Ms Quinlan's 13 and 14-year-old daughters are in secondary school.

"The secondary schools are not even cheap anymore," she said.

"You still have to subsidise them every year. We pay €320 for them. I also have my mortgage, the ESB and gas bills, a credit union loan, bus passes; there's loads to be paid out every week. Then I have the shopping as well, and that's not getting an cheaper either."

Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTE's Liveline, she said that "most people in Finglas are in the same position.

"We'll all be out when the water meters come to Finglas. They'll find it very hard to put them in around here, because people are struggling as it is. I'm not the only one; it's my neighbours and people all around here too."

Ms Quinlan has been a determined protester, having attended the last two major actions, and also intends to attend the upcoming protest on December 10. "The kids are coming with me, the only reason my husband won't be with me is because he has to work."