Carrick water meter protests - Gardai investigate complaints of injuries

Right2Water campaigners stage a peaceful protest at the entrance to Castle Court housing estate in Carrickbeg, Carrick-on-Suir on Monday 5th January as water meters are being installed outside the houses there.
An anti-water charges campaigner was taken to hospital yesterday (Tuesday) after sustaining a leg injury during an incident at a protest against the installation of water meters at a housing estate in Carrick-on-Suir.

An anti-water charges campaigner was taken to hospital yesterday (Tuesday) after sustaining a leg injury during an incident at a protest against the installation of water meters at a housing estate in Carrick-on-Suir.

The incident involving a digger occurred at Tanners Gate in the town shortly before 9am as water meter installers representing Irish Water attempted to bring vehicles and machinery into the estate to start work outside homes.

The injured Carrick-on-Suir man aged in his late 30s/early 40 is a prominent member of the Carrick-on-Suir Right2Water campaign.

He sustained the foot injury while he was protesting against the arrival of water meter installation vehicles into the estate.

He was taken by ambulance to South Tipperary General Hospital where he received treatment. Gardai were called to the protest and confirmed they were investigating the incident.

Officers from Clonmel and Carrick were present at the protest throughout yesterday morning. Local Sinn Fein Cllr David Dunne, who is involved in Carrick-on-Suir’s Right2Water Campaign, was present at the protest. He said there was a tense stand off between protesters and meter installation workers and at one stage there were about 60 people in the estate.

He praised the gardai for the role they played in policing the situation. He reported that following discussions between both sides, the protesters withdrew from the estate around lunchtime while the meter installers withdrew most of their vehicles and machinery and were allowed instal meters outside the home of a number of residents, who wanted them.

Tanners Gate was one of several housing estates in Carrick including Clairin, Deepark, Castle Court and Woodland Heights where water meter installers met resistence and protests from anti-water meter charges campaigners and residents this week. Some residents of Ravenswood estate on Cregg Road have also objected to meters being installed outside their homes, according to Cllr. Dunne.

Gardai are also investigating a complaint of a second protester, a local Carrick man, who suffered a foot injury while protesting against the arrival of a digger for use in meter installation at Castle Court in Carrickbeg on Monday morning. Gardai were present at this protest on Monday. The blockade resumed again from early morning yesterday.

Irish Water said until the Garda investigation into the two alleged injuries at the Carrick protests was complete, it would be inappropriate for it to comment.