Preparations under way for Wednesday’s water protests

Extent of road closures depends on number of people taking part in the protests

Sheila Giles Mullan protests the water charges outside Leinster House in Dublin. A number of Right2Water marches take place on Wednesday afternoon. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sheila Giles Mullan protests the water charges outside Leinster House in Dublin. A number of Right2Water marches take place on Wednesday afternoon. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

Gardaí are preparing for potential traffic disruption in parts of Dublin on Wednesday as Right2Water marches set off from various points towards a rally in Merrion Square .

The marches, organised by local grassroots campaign groups, are expected to set off from up to 10 locations north and south of the Liffey.

The largest numbers are expected to take part in marches from Heuston Station, Harold’s Cross and the Garden of Remembrance between 11am and 12pm. The rally in Merrion Square will take place from 1pm to 4pm.

Gardaí said “plans are being put into place” to deal with events on the day, but the extent of potential diversions and road closures will depend on the number of people taking part in the protest against water charges.

Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Michael O’Brien said he imagined the vast majority of people would head straight to the congregation point on Merrion Street, but there would also be significant feeder marches from various locations.

“The issue is we don’t know how many are going to turn up. The congregation point will be Merrion Street but we may reach a point where that can’t contain the size of the crowds... The actual numbers are hard to say because of factors such as midweek, the Government changes and such.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government had addressed issues of concern about the water charges, such as clarity, affordability and fairness, when it announced a revised package last month.

“Issues that were causing genuine concerns to people in the marches they were having around the country in the last few months have all been dealt with and very clearly answered by the Minister for the Environment,” said Mr Kenny.

Members of the Detroit Water Brigade, which advocates for an income-based water affordability plan in the US city, are among those taking part in the demonstration.

Mr Kenny said he would like to welcome “our visitors from Detroit” and said he knew some households in the US faced having their water supply cut-off in the event of difficulties.