Thousands gather in Dublin for latest national march against water charges

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Previous water charge protests attracted thousands onto O'Connell Street
Previous water charge protests attracted thousands onto O'Connell Street

Thousands of people are gathering in Dublin for the latest national march against water charges.

Buses have been organised to transport protesters from all parts of the country to three meeting points in the city before they attend the major rally on O’Connell Street.

Right2Water campaign organisers have promised to maintain a peaceful stance during the day’s events.

People Before Profit hit out earlier in the week at what they said was the sensationalisation of scuffles at protests.

Five protesters were jailed last month for breaching court orders not to interfere with the installation of water meters.

Protesters will meet at Heuston Station, Connolly Station and Merrion Square with participants gathering at O’Connell Bridge for the rally.

One of the political parties backing the march, People Before Profit, said the turnout would demonstrate a massive show of hatred for the Government’s policies of austerity, taxes and cuts.

“It will be a momentous day because it will show that the Irish Water fiasco has run its course,” Dublin city councillor Brid Smith said.

“Once Irish Water is dead the government might consider using the money Irish Water is wasting on legal fees, consultants and bonuses and actually invests in the water system of this country which they, and successive establishment governments have done nothing about in the past.”

The three-way march and expected large turnout prompted business figures in the capital to urge a reroute.

Richard Guiney, chief executive of We are DublinTown, the city’s Business Improvement District, said it was designed to cause maximum disruption to the 375,000 people normally in the city on a Saturday afternoon.

“Our view is that the most appropriate location for people to articulate their concerns is Merrion Square, the seat of the Oireachtas and Government Buildings,” he said.