Water meter protest disrupts installation

by Gazette Reporter
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The first protest against water meter installation took place in Blanchardstown last week as local politicians say water charges will throw families into poverty.

Mulhuddart councillor Ruth Coppinger (SP) has said new water charges coming into play next year are set to throw families into poverty.
The local councillor’s claims come as the first recorded protest against water meter installation got under way in Dublin 15 last week.
The protest took place on Friday, November 1 in Bramblefields Estate in Littlepace, where Cllr Coppinger said the Anti-Austerity Alliance joined forces with local residents in an effort to “peacefully disrupt” the water meter installation process in Bramblefields Estate.
The protest was in an effort to provide a reminder to the Government that there remains opposition to “these unjust taxes”.
Speaking to the Gazette, Cllr Coppinger said approximately 40 people took part in the protest, which successfully disrupted the work in the estate for two hours.
She also said that while the protest was the first ever recorded protest to be held in Ireland against the water charges and metering installation, there would be plenty more to come.
“This is going to be a major issue,” she said. “This metering will be going on in Dublin 15 for about six months so there will be other protests at other times and more protests and meetings will be held against water charges and against austerity generally. So we were happy that we did register this issue nationally. We got a lot of coverage.”
While Cllr Coppinger said the metering installation has gone without much incident so far, the thing that really brought it home on Friday, is the money being pumped into the meter installation.
“There is a fleet of new vans, new barriers and uniforms. The vans were that new; they weren’t even taxed or insured. It just really brought it home how much money is being spent on this, and for what? To charge people for a vital resource. When the money could be spent stopping the leak of water through our system right now.”
Cllr Coppinger continued to say that she believes the reality of the water charges have yet to hit home for Irish families.
“These bills will throw a lot of families into poverty. We’re making this very political. The parties that are behind these charges are going to pay a heavy price. Don’t forget, it’s only less than three years since the Labour Party said it would protect people from water charges. Now here they are imposing them.
“I hope that in as many communities as possible around the country a similar response is organised by opponents of the water tax and a fresh head of political pressure be whipped up against the Government parties.”
Whilst unaware of the specific protest in Littlepace, Blanchardstown Labour councillor, Mary McCamley, commented to the Gazette on Monday on the issue of water meter installation.
“What myself and the Labour Party are working towards is that a certain amount of water will be free after installation before charges are applied.”
Meanwhile, the latest statement released from Dublin City Council reiterated that the ongoing nightly water restrictions in Dublin – from 8pm each evening until 7am the following morning – are set to continue until Thursday November 7 at least.

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