More than 2000 march in Clonmel anti-water tax protest

An anti-water charges campaigner has a message for Taoiseach Edna Kenny at last Saturday's Right2Water march in Clonmel.
Bus loads of anti-water charges campaigners from South Tipperary will travel to Dublin next Wednesday to take part in the first national protest march since the Government amended the tax scheme in response to public opposition.

Bus loads of anti-water charges campaigners from South Tipperary will travel to Dublin next Wednesday to take part in the first national protest march since the Government amended the tax scheme in response to public opposition.

Planning for the Dublin demonstration follows the participation of more than 2000 people in a Right2Water march in Clonmel town centre last Saturday afternoon.

It was the largest turnout yet for an anti-water charges demonstration in South Tipperary and coincided with other anti-water charges marches around the country on the same day including Dublin, Sligo, Donegal and Kerry.

The night before the march, around 45 women opposed to the water tax staged a 15 minute long silent candlelit vigil at the Main Guard in Clonmel.

Ann Condon of the Clonmel Against Water Charges Campaign said the mood of the people at the march was determined because the Government wasn’t listening to them.

Residents who have objected to the installation of water meters outside their homes in Clonmel took part in Saturday’s march, the second to be held in the town in just over a month.

Among them were residents from Boherduff and Carrigeen estates on the Fethard Road, who have protested at the entrance to their estates since November 4 to stop water meter installers entering.

GMC Sierra has been installing meters i Clonmel for nearly seven weeks and Anne Condon believes the firm’s “lack of respect” towards householders who don’t want the meter was a key reasons for the high turnout at last Saturday’s demonstration.

She said since last Monday week the meter installers have changed their policy of bypassing households opposed to the meters and are now pressing ahead and installing the meters despite objections.

Meanwhile, residents at Heywood Close and Inis Cara in Clonmel have objected to water meter installers entering their neighbourhoods this week.

Ms Condon said buses from Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir will transport people to the national protest march in Dublin on December 10. Anyone wishing to travel should contact TD Seamus Healy’s office at (052) 6121883 or Elaine Power in Carrick at (085) 2825995.

An Irish Water spokesperson said water meters were being installed on public not private property. It was not a case that Irish Water was seeking a contract with householders, it was simply implementing government legislation by installing meters. It was not up to people to say yes or no to meters.