7 February 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Hundreds of local Anti-Water Charges protests took place across the country on Saturday the 31st of January and part of the National Day of Action against the Water Charges organised by Right2Water.

In Co. Monaghan three protests were held. The first took place in Carrickmacross, the second was held in Clones and the third was held in Monaghan Town.

Co. Monaghan Right2Water organiser Mícheál Hughes, who chaired two of the rallies stated,

“These charges can be defeated. If we stand together we can and we will defeat these charges. The people of Ireland have made their opinion loud and clear and we will not put up with this Government that have started to believe their own propaganda about the charges. Water is not a commodity, water is a basic human right and we in County Monaghan have rejected water charges.”

Shane Finann, of the Anti-Water Tax Campaign group stated while addressing the crowd,

“This protest today and the ones that came before are not just a reaction to the Water Charges alone, they are a product of the continuing Austerity that has been forced on the people of Ireland.”

Local Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy addressed both the rallies in Carrickmacross and Monaghan Town.

“Every penny these charges take from the pockets of Irish Families is an attack on local economies.”

“I believe water charges will be defeated, and in the fight against Austerity no one need stand alone.”

He continued to reaffirm Sinn Féin’s commitment to the abolition of the Water Charges.

“If in Government, Sinn Féin will abolish these charges. Either this Government will be forced to scrap the charges or the next Government will.”

Carthy went on to outline his own position on registering with Irish Water.

“I have made the personal decision not to register with Irish Water and this decision is one that everyone must make for themselves, but we all here today will stand beside those who make the decision not to comply with Irish Water.”

Speaking with some of the protesters on the day the general consensus was that most were not willing to register with Irish Water or pay the charges.

“We are not fooled by the introductory offer that Fine Gael and Labour are trying to sell us.”

“We will accept only one outcome and that is the proposed Water Charges be scraped.”

Cllr Seán Conlon, another member of the local Right2Water organisation, stated,

“The scale of opposition to the imposition of water charges is no better demonstrated than by the huge numbers that have defied the impending deadline for registering the details of their property with Irish Water. With approximately half of the country’s households refusing to register, it is a clear signal to the Fine Gael Labour government that this latest stealth tax is austerity gone too far and will continue to be resisted by determined citizens.”

Around 200 people attended the protests across Co. Monaghan.

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