Water charges opponents stage protest outside Carrick-on-Suir garda station

Women supporting the Right2Water Campaign staging a silent protest outside Carrick Garda Station last Thursday night.
Women campaigning against water charges in Carrick-on-Suir staged a silent candlelight protest outside the town’s Garda Station last week.

Women campaigning against water charges in Carrick-on-Suir staged a silent candlelight protest outside the town’s Garda Station last week.

The half-hour long demonstration that began at 7pm last Thursday, January 15 was organised by members of Carrick-on-Suir’s Right2Water campaign.

It took place two days after Irish Water annnounced its decision to “reschedule” some of its water meter installation works in Carrick-on-Suir to “ensure they can be completed safely” following protests and blockades at several estates in the town over the previous week and a half.

Gardai arrested three Carrick men under the 2007 Irish Water Services Act during one protest at the Castle Court estate in Carrickbeg on Thursday, January 8 for allegedly obstructing water meter installers.

And they are investigating two complaints of water charges protesters sustaining leg injuries in incidents involving diggers during protests against the arrival of water meter installers at Castle Court on Monday, January 5 and Tanners Gate the following morning.

Elaine Power of Carrick-on-Suir’s Right2Water Group said they decided to stage the demonstration as they felt they didn’t get much support from the Garda Siochana during their protests against the water meter installation programme at estates where residents indicated they didn’t want meters outside their homes.

She said members of the group felt the Gardai ignored complaints they made in relation to incidents of alleged verbal abuse and pushing of people taking part in the water meter protests.

When contacted by The Nationalist, a spokesman for Carrick-on-Suir Garda Station said the Gardai didn’t wish to comment on the group’s criticisms.

Elaine Power, meanwhile, welcomed Irish Water’s decision to suspend the roll out of its water meter installation programme in Carrick-on-Suir.

She said Carrick’s Right2Water Campaign group held a public meeting in Butler’s Pub on John St. on Monday night. Members of the group will take part in the county anti-water charge march in Cashel this Saturday. Marchers will assemble on Cashel’s Main Street at 1.45pm and the demonstration will start at 2pm. Ms Power said two bus loads of people from Carrick will take part in the national anti-water charges march in Dublin on January 31.