The joint Fine Gael / Labour government coalition who believed that the anti-water charge campaign had conveniently run out of steam, got a further ‘sharp poke in the ribs today’, when over 80,000 people took to the streets of Ireland’s capitol to protest for the first time this year, sending, yet again, a clear pre-election message.
Describing politely Irish Water as nothing more than a “toxic quango,” involved protesters from Tipperary sent Minister Alan Kelly and his senior officials and over-paid consultants the message that they ‘cannot and will not pay,’ what they describe as his “back of an envelope calculations.”
This successful protests today follows on from the unjustified jailing of protesters; the wasting of over €85m on private consultants; the €539m wasted on installing water meters; the latest spending of some €650,000 on current TV advertising campaigns, not to mention hundreds of unnecessary Garda hours, paid for by taxpayers, wasted needlessly on everyday policing of water meter installations.
This naive and unbelievably pubescent planning of ‘Irish Water’ by former Fine Gael Minister Phil Hogan is now recognised by those not as yet forced to emigrate from Ireland, as being tantamount to gross criminal misappropriation by those who were elected with a fiduciary duty to care for and protect our nation’s most basic of assets.
Campaigners, many from Thurles and broader Co. Tipperary will now continue protesting until this or a future alternative Government abolishes domestic water charges; takes steps to permanently enshrine our water in public ownership and returns to the drawing board to devise and implement a more ‘ability to pay, ‘fit-for-purpose’ policy, with regard to our countries natural, God given, water resources.
In the words of Cork born Thomas Davis, creator of the culture of modern Irish nationalism; organiser of the Young Ireland movement and editor of ‘The Nation’ newspaper in the 1840s; “Where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows.”