All routes lead to Leinster House for water protesters
Anti-water charge organisers promise a ‘family friendly’ day with music, comedy
Glen Jeffries and George Nolan in Cobh, Co Cork, yesterday, before travelling to Dublin for the water protest. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
The Right2Water campaign has outlined its final arrangements for today’s anti-water charges protest which will begin at 1pm outside Leinster House. Organisers expect it to continue until about 4pm.
The event is described as “family friendly” and organisers say it will include political contributions as well as musical entertainment and alternative comedy acts.
Gardaí are preparing for potential traffic disruption in parts of Dublin. According to organisers, marches organised by local grassroots campaign groups will begin 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 noon. The main stage for the demonstration will be located at the junction of Merrion Square South and Merrion Square West.
Feeder marchersFeeder marches from the north of the city will access the assembly at the corner of Clare Street and Merrion Square North near the Mont Clare Hotel.
Feeder marches from the south of the city will access the assembly at the corner of Merrion Square South, Fitzwilliam Street Lower and Mount Street Upper near the ESB offices.
An area in front of the stage will be cordoned off for people with disabilities, those with a role in the proceedings, and the media.
The only access to this area will be from the archway at the bottom of Fitzwilliam Lane on Fitzwilliam Street South.
Gardaí said plans are being put into place to deal with events, but the extent of potential diversions and road closures will depend on the number of people taking part.
Places for busesBuses entering the city from the north and northwest of the country can drop people off on Merrion Square north and park in the Dublin Port area and on the North Wall adjacent to the 3Arena.
Buses travelling from the south, southeast and southwest can drop people as near as possible to Merrion Square east and avail of parking facilities on Wilton Terrace beside the Grand Canal.
Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Michael O’Brien expected that most protesters would head straight to the congregation point on Merrion Street, but that there will also be significant feeder marches from various locations.
“The issue is, we don’t know how many are going to turn up,” he said. “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.”
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.