A protest too far

Anti water charges demonstrators did themselves and their campaign no favours in Dublin last Saturday with the totally unacceptable siege laid to Tanaiste Joan Burton in her car.

Anti water charges demonstrators did themselves and their campaign no favours in Dublin last Saturday with the totally unacceptable siege laid to Tanaiste Joan Burton in her car.

Up to this , protests had been peaceful and organised - on this page we carry a letter on how forceful they have been in Clonmel and how they have made the government sit up and take notice of so many concerned citizens.

There is an irony in that just a few days before the government announces what are expected to be vastly reduced charges, the Dublin protest shot the camaign in the foot with behaviour bordering on anarchy.

The government and their policies are legitimate targets for peaceful protest and dissent - a minister subjected to what Joan Burton endured is not.

It’s quite obvious that certain elements in the crowd orchestrated a lot of the demonstration that saw the Tanaiste trapped in her car for over two hours. They may or may not have been aligned to the campaign but they were under its banner.

And the local TD and outspoken anti-water charges campaigner who might have been able to do something to diffuse the highly charged atmosphere, didn’t seem to bother. That is also unacceptable, that he would do little to ease the stress of a fellow politician in such a situation. It’s not good enough in a democracy.

Michael Heverin, Editor