The Government’s relaxing of measures in relation to the introduction of water charges does not appear to have put a dent in the number of protests taking place across the country.
A group of protestors gathered in Scarriff, Co. Clare, this week to express their opposition to the installation of water meters by staff of Irish Water.
Niamh O’Brien, who contested the 2014 Local Election in County Clare for the newly established Fís Nua political party, engaged in dialogue with Sergeant Joe Fallon of the Clare Garda Division and a representative of Irish Water who chose not to identify himself.
During the exchange, Ms. O’Brien outlined that the protest was peaceful and the group were “perfectly entitled” to hold the protest. Sergeant Fallon and the Irish Water representative both outlined that they had no objection to the protest being held but requested that Irish Water vehicles not be blocked from passing the protestors.
Meanwhile, Ms OBrien also suggested that a decision by Clare County Council members to vote for a suspension of water charges suggested that the installation of water meters in the Clare jurisdiction should not proceed.
The Government this week announced new capped annual water charges. The newly announced cost to Clare households will be €60 and €160 for other households.
Households with either a water supply or sewage supply will pay 50% of the new charges. Children will continue to be free. The charge for water in or out will be €3.70 per 1,000 litres.
Every household in the country will also be entitled to €100 rebate from the Department of Social Protection if they sign up with Irish Water.