Castleisland Hosts First Right2Water Kerry March of the Year

Castleisland had the honour of hosting the first Kerry water charge protest of the year on its Main Street today. The last political protest of this kind was during the dark days of the H-Block Campaign in the early 1980s.

Organisers were pleased with the turnout and they were joined by Right2Water campaigners from Tralee, Killarney, Listowel, Lyreacrompane and Abbeyfeale.

Two great agitators – for want of a better term – from across the Cork / Kerry county bounds, John Morrissey from Charleville and Michael O’Leary from Newmarket kept the temperatures up throughout the peaceful march along with Kevin Murphy and Brian McCarthy from Killarney and People Before Profit party member, Brian Finucane from Ballylongford. Mr. Morrissey is looking forward to contesting next year’s general election on a range of issues concerning the state of rural Ireland today.

If one was to close one’s eyes and judge the crowd in terms of boisterousness one would put it close to a thousand – one would. However, after hearing estimates which swung from 150 to 300 – a figure somewhere in between would be a sensible option.

Independents, Michael Healy Rae TD and Tom Fleming TD were in Castleisland for the parade as was newly elected Sinn Féin Councillor, Pa Daly, Tralee.

Starting at the Ivy Leaf or Dave Geaney’s Corner shortly after 2pm the parade was led by Tralee piper, Denis O’Reilly up Main Street and onto the Old Library. It turned and traipsed the journey to the other end of the town and made its way into the old railway yard.

There, in front of the new library,  speakers: Kevin Murphy, Killarney; Brian Finucane, Ballylongford; Catherine Dolan, Tralee; Éamonn Ó Braoin, Oileán Chiarraí and Michael O’Leary, Newmarket delivered rousing speeches. The latter was high in his encouragement and praise of Independent candidates in the next election and pitching the present government to the outer reaches of damnation.

“The people of Castleisland and the surrounding areas marched together against the water charge injustice here today. They were joined by members of Right2water Kerry and Right2Water Abbeyfeale. The weather held off and there was a great atmosphere through out.

Today was Castleisland’s first water charges protest and according to local historians, the first protest march in the town since the ’80’s. We would like to thank everyone who took part today and hope to see them again soon,” said organiser, Kevin Murphy.

After the march, there was a meeting of the Right2Water groups from around the county in the Ivy Leaf. People from the Castleisland area set up a committee and Right2Water Castleisland community action group was formed.

“During the meeting a calendar of future events in Kerry was agreed upon, we will post the minutes of the meeting in a following post. We will also post photos as they come in.

We would like to thank the people of Castleisland and the surrounds for attending today’s march, especially those who handed out fliers, put up posters and informed the general public about today’s protest. We would like to thank An Garda Síochána for their aid with the traffic,” said Mr. Murphy.

The Right2Water Castleisland committee which was set up at a specially convened meeting immediately after today’s march consists of: Chairman:  Ned Flynn, Cordal; ViceChairperson: Nancy Foran, Castleisland; Secretary, John O’Sullivan, Castleisland; Joint Treasurers: Frank Kevins, Currans and Pa O’Sullivan, Castleisland. The position of PRO is yet to be filled. To keep up to date on all matters relating to the Right2Water activity in Kerry just click on the link here: