Right2Water Campaign Moves to Castleisland

Irish Water workmen on Castleisland's Main Street in April 2014. An anti-charges public meeting will be held at the Ivy Leaf Art Centre this  Wednesday night, January 7th at 7-45pm. ©Photograph: John Reidy 1-4-2014
Irish Water workmen on Castleisland’s Main Street in April 2014. An anti-charges public meeting will be held at the Ivy Leaf Art Centre this Wednesday night, January 7th at 7-45pm. ©Photograph: John Reidy 1-4-2014

A public meeting on the water charges issue has been organised for the Ivy Leaf Art Centre, Castleisland on this Wednesday night, January 7th at 7-45pm. Representatives of the already formed Right2Water groups from around Kerry will attend. The purpose of the meeting is to set up a Right2Water Castleisland branch here and the organisers have issued an invitation to anyone concerned or annoyed at government policy on this thorny issue.

There are also plans for a county-wide, peaceful protest gathering in Castleisland at 2pm on Saturday, January 17th – the details of which will be discussed at the Ivy Leaf meeting on Wednesday night.

There’s little need to remind historians that Castleisland was a hotbed of civil disobedience long before the term was ever coined.

Look up the Rising of 1798 and The Moonlighters and the ‘addresses’ by leading political figures of the day from the balcony of The Crown Hotel. Look at the setting up a branch of the Irish Volunteers in April 1914. Then there was the lead up to the Ballyseedy Massacre in March of 1923 and you’ll get the picture of how Castleisland and its people played their part in history.

Still in the political sphere, the Right2Water Kerry campaign is proposing to stage the first of its major rallies here in Castleisland at 2pm on Saturday, January 17th.

Anti-water charge groups and individuals from all over the county are being invited to Castleisland on that day and it is being provisionally promoted as the first county-wide, peaceful protest meetings of 2015.

In the meantime,  the public meeting at The Ivy Leaf Art Centre on this Wednesday night, January 7th at 7-45pm. is being advertised as a ‘question and answer session’ and to discuss plans for the rally later in the month.

Leading anti-water-charges campaigners from across the county will be in attendance at the Ivy Leaf on this Wednesday night and the aim is to set up a Right2Water Castleisland branch ahead of the proposed mass meeting here on January 17th .

The proposed Right2Water Castleisland – which is to be set up at the meeting – will be a community action group.  It will be organised by private citizens who have serious concerns about Irish Water, its set-up, water charges and the potential privatization of our water supply.

“We are a community group with no affiliation to any political parties or unions. We would, of course, welcome support from those who share our beliefs with regards to this campaign. A meeting has been organised of Right2Water Kerry groups in the Ivy Leaf, Old Church Lane on Wednesday 7th January @ 8pm. A protest has been organised for 17th January at 2pm from the Ivy Leaf in Castleisland and we are looking for the public’s support for this march,” said Right2Water Killarney member, Kevin Murphy.

“We believe that water charges will financially cripple families, the elderly, sick and those who are struggling under austerity. Water charges will add to the expanding homeless population and will incite stress, fear and mental anguish on the populace,” said Mr. Murphy

“The argument that the creation of Irish Water and its setup is geared towards conservation has no basis. Irish Water will not take responsibility for surface water, storm water or flooding. The government’s intention to charge a flat rate does not target the waste of water. There has been no mass ad campaign to inform the public on water conservation. A recent Energy Regulator report stated that only 6% of water will be conserved by metering and charges.

Since the reforms there is now no incentive to conserve water. No referendum will be held to keep water in the hands of the Irish people. Any laws protecting the ownership of our water can very easily be abolished without proper consultation or debate, as evidenced by the guillotining of legislation during the life time of this Dáil. The plebiscite will only ask the people’s opinion and will not be binding. Only one plebiscite has been used in the history of this state and that was seventy seven years ago.

I urge all of you who have concerns, to join us and stand up against what we believe is wrong; to hold the Government to account and to help protect our future and that of our children,” Mr. Murphy concluded.

You can learn more about concerns around the creation of Irish Water and the introduction of water charges as well as the actions of the Irish Government here: