Hundreds come out against property tax

Protests across the State part of a build up to national protest in Dublin next month

Sat, Mar 23, 2013, 18:32

Up to 40 local protests against the property tax took place around the State today in a ’national day of action’ by the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes (CAHWT).

Though most were small, with typically 30 to 50 people reported at each, organisers described their purpose as “to raise awareness” of the campaign which they said they expected would gather momentum in the lead up to a planned mass rally in Dublin in three weeks’ time.

Among the towns and cities where protests took place were Cork; Waterford; Galway; Kilkenny; Drogheda; Wexford; Maynooth; Celbridge; Newbridge; Bray; New Ross; Portlaoise, Limerick and Carlow.

In Dublin, there were protests in Blanchardstown; Rathmines; Tallaght; Phibsbor;, Artane; Dun Laoghaire; Balbriggan and Ringsend.

One of those at the small protest in Rathmines was local pensioner Stephen Watts (87), who said he was there because the new tax was “criminal”. Dressed in cordrouy trousers, a shirt and tie and wearing a tweed hat he said he had paid “excessive stamp duty” when he bought his house and had to fight back. The former wood-turner said he believed the campaign would grow. “I am part of a swelling crowd,” he said.

At the larger Ringsend protest, at which about 50 local home-owners marched, a woman giving only her first name, Anne, said she was “very worried” about the charge. A resident of Bath Avenue in Sandymount, she is unemployed having worked for an architect. She expected her tax to be about €1,000 per year and she “simply” didn’t have it, she said.

Cian Prendeville, who was on the Limerick protest, took part because he was “incredibly angry” about the new tax.

Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party, a spokeswoman for the campaign, said people were “bewildered and scared” about the tax.

She demonstrated in Blanchardstown.“We had about 100 people and a lot of people interested in coming to meetings we’ve planned in the area. I think when the letters start arriving in big numbers people are going to move from being scared to being angry. What we’re saying is we have to fight this. We have no more to give and if we don’t fight it they will be back for more after this.”

She called on people to take part in a second national day of action, in Dublin, on April 13th when local campaigns from across the State will march from Parnell Square to a meeting of EU finance ministers in Dublin Castle.