Ann Condon of the Clonmel Against Water Charges Campaign, encouraged people at the meeting to follow the lead of residents in Carrick-on-Suir and also hold estate and street meetings to organise “peaceful protests” and text alerts campaigns for when the meter installers’ arrive in their neighbourhoods.
She was among an estimated 100 people from the Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir areas, who took part in the anti-water charges demonstration attended by more then 50,000 people in Dublin city centre last Saturday.
She claimed that €1.2bn in taxes for water services were collected each year, the equivalent of €600 per household and now the Government wanted people to pay again even though water services in a lot of areas were disgraceful.
Ms Condon, who contested the recent county council election as a People Before Profit candidate, said the water charges could only be defeated by people power.
She echoed deputy Healy’s calls to the public to take part in Saturday’s protest, sign the national petition and lobby the county’s Government ministers, TDs and senator.
She encouraged people opposed to the tax not to engage with Irish Water and if they hadn’t sent their registration forms back, to show their resistence by tearing them up outside the Town Hall at Saturday’s protest.
If people had already sent back the forms, that was no problem, she said.
Ms Condon said the peaceful resistence campaign to the installation of the water meters was designed to slow up and frustrate the roll out of the meters, and the next step would be not to pay the water charges bills.
Deputy Healy, a founder member of the National Right 2 Water Campaign, which organised last Saturday’s protest in Dublin, described water charges as a “regressive anti-family tax introduced to pay the debts of banks and bondholders”.
He said they needed to build on the success of the Dublin demonstration with a large turnout at the Clonmel protest on Saturday.
“Please put the word out to all your own family and friends, talk about it in your work place and if you are a member of a club put the word out there and ask people to come along.
“We want to send a really strong message to government and particularly the Government Oireachtas members in this constituency that Tipperary says no to water charges.”
Meanwhile, Independent TD Mattie McGrath criticised the Labour Party for supporting the new water charges regime.
He accused the party of “throwing in their political lot with ruthless Fine Gael policy directives that are generating extraordinary levels of public anger that shows no sign of abating despite the panic we can hear in Government attempts to defuse the matter.”