NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
More than 80,000 demonstrators to the streets of Dublin on Saturday (29th August). This was the fifth mass demonstration organised by the Right2Water campaign. Over recent weeks Ireland’s Fine Gael/Labour coalition government have been trying to say that the protests against the austerity driven water charges had dissipated. But nothing could be further from the truth as thousands braved torrential downpours and came from all over Ireland to take part in the demonstration.
There has been a major boycott of the charges with 57% of households not paying the first bill. A figure set to rise even further for the second bill. The campaign to abolish the tax is clearly set to be a big election issue and spells bad news for the coalition government. Labour in particular have seen a collapse in support that could see them wiped out in the next election. A situation not helped by Labour Environment Minister Alan Kelly issuing all kinds of legal threats and severe penalties against non payers.
Speaking at the rally Sinn Fein vice president and Dublin TD Mary Lou McDonald said that the Government has underestimated the strength of opposition to Irish Water saying: “Irish Water has been one fiasco after the other.
“Protesters, citizens like you and me, are going nowhere too.
“And this Government thought with their ‘conservation grant’ and their heavy-handed legislation they could purchase half of us and intimidate the other half.
“The fool, the fools, the fools – they have underestimated us at their peril. And we will not tolerate their arrogant, bully boy politics any longer.
“This movement rests, in the first place, on the shoulders of every woman and man, every community that has stood up to be counted, well done – every single one of you.
“And when the next election comes let no one be in any doubt that our demand will be an end to water charges and Irish Water and the beginning of a society based on decency, equality, fairness and full citizenship for every single one of us.
“When Enda Kenny and Joan Burton and the others tell us that is pie in the sky, that can’t be done, well we say to them with one voice – just because you won’t do it, because you don’t have the heart or the gut or the conscience to do it, to do things the right way – don’t imagine we’re all cut from the same cloth.
“Because when we say fairness, when we say a fair recovery, equality, an end to
water charges and Irish Water – we mean it and we will deliver on it.”
(Submited for Celtic League by Alastair Kneale Mannin Branch)
Issued by the Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues