Jailed water charges protester to run in general election

Bernie Hughes among detainees released after judge ruled they were held unlawfully

(From left) Des Fagan of the CPSU, Brendan Ogle of UNITE  and John Douglas of the ICTU at the Right2Water press conference announcing details of a new water charges protest. The conference heard how one of the four jailed protesters, Bernie Hughes, plans to run in the next general election.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

(From left) Des Fagan of the CPSU, Brendan Ogle of UNITE and John Douglas of the ICTU at the Right2Water press conference announcing details of a new water charges protest. The conference heard how one of the four jailed protesters, Bernie Hughes, plans to run in the next general election. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

One of four anti-water protesters jailed in recent weeks has said she intends running as a candidate in the next general election.

Bernie Hughes was one of the four protesters freed on Monday after a judge upheld their claims that they were unlawfully detained under a committal warrant which contained a number of errors.

She said one of the other three individuals released from jail with her was also “strongly” considering running.

Ms Hughes, who was unsuccessful in her bid as a United Left candidate for Cabra/Finglas in the last local elections, added that other candidates were likely to emerge from the ranks of Communities Against Water Charges, of which she is a member, and the Anti-Eviction Task Force.

However, she said finances would dictate whether she will be in a position to stand.

Water charges protest

Ms Hughes was speaking at the launch of details of the next protest against water charges, which will take place in Dublin on Saturday, March 21st.

Brendan Ogle of Right2Water said the strength of opposition to the water charges was “as strong as ever”.

The march, which Mr Ogle said would attract tens of thousands of individuals, will assemble at 1pm in three locations around Dublin: Heuston Station, Merrion Square and Connolly Station.

The three strands of the protest will converge on O’Connell Bridge before proceeding up O’Connell Street where a stage will be set up.

Protest steward Des Fagan of the Civil Public and Services Union said it was expected the protest would conclude at around 3pm.

Mr Ogle said: “Only peaceful protest will support the campaign and will help us deliver change.”

He said that anyone who could not abide by this should “stay away, they are not welcome, we do not want them”.

Mr Ogle said the goal of his organisation was the abolition of the planned water charges, adding that the protests would continue “up to and possibly beyond” the next general election if that goal was not achieved ahead of that time.

The demonstration will be joined by an anti-racism march to coincide with the UN Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, under the banner and hashtag #M21 .

This demonstration will converge at the Central Bank Plaza on Dublin’s Dame Street at 11.30am on the morning of Saturday, March 21st.