Since it was first mooted in a Fianna Fáil budget speech in December 2009 the proposal of a tax on water became a hot topic. Now it’s a burning issue.
Irish Water bills were burned in Castleisland on Saturday in a mini incinerator in the new library car-park after the town’s second protest march in a few months.
An estimated crowd of a hundred protesters marched from Herbert Bridge on the Killarney Road to the old library and back to the new library car-park.
Locals who marched in the protest bemoaned the lack of local involvement as Killarney, Tralee, Listowel and North Cork campaigners swelled the crowd to the estimated count.
Kerry TDs, Tom Fleming and Martin Ferris also walked the route with the protesters.
Though smaller in number that the January 17th march here there was no let up in the enthusiasm for the battle at hand.
Right2Water Castleisland organiser, John O’Sullivan feels that the campaign for the abolition of water charges is far from waning and is just entering a new and different phase.
“The fact that Irish Water has begun to issue bills has changed the game anyway. And, it’s up to us to keep the campaign fresh and keep on top of what’s happening and to offer the best advice available to us to people who need it,” said Mr. O’Sullivan who co-ordinated and conducted Saturday’s parade through Main Street without hitch or hold-up.
In any case the impositions of the €60 fines threatened by Minister Alan Kelly remain a solid 12 months away. And by then there will have been many a twist and turn in the unfolding Irish Water saga – as there will in the make up of a government after the 2016 general election.
“We will advise people to save a few Euro in anticipation of a fine and we will continue our policy of non-payment of the water charges. It’s the issue of the privatization of our supply of water that’s of concern to most of the protesters,” said Mr. O’Sullivan.
Though he wouldn’t be drawn on the issue of Right2Water Kerry running a candidate in the general election – he said he wouldn’t be surprised if someone emerged.
The après-march speeches spared no one. In a wide sweep of the Right2Water scythe, government politicians, Phil Hogan, Alan Kelly, RTÉ, Denis O’Brien and almost all on the recently published ‘Rich List’ came within the arc.
Bills were burned as the mini-incinerator then came into play. To cheers and whoops the flames licked through the most potent symbols of the inflammable topic to date. To be continued……