Anti-austerity group to contest 40 seats in local elections

Alliance seeks to ‘obstruct Government agenda on cuts’ on May 23rd

A group opposing water charges and other austerity measures will contest 40 seats in the local elections on May 23rd and said it planned to “obstruct” the Government’s agenda for further cuts.

The Anti-Austerity Alliance said it would use council seats as a “platform to organise opposition to water tax and other austerity measures”. It officially launched its campaign in Dublin today.

Candidates include Fingal councillor Ruth Coppinger and Mick Murphy, who was treasurer of the anti-water charges campaign in the 1990s.

The alliance is also backing Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy in the European Parliament elections.


“More than any other previous local election in recent history the verdict that will be cast by working people and the unemployed on 23rd May can considerably shorten the lifespan of this government and obstruct their agenda for further cuts and unjust impositions,” Ms Coppinger said.

She predicted a "thrashing" for the Labour Party as a "crushing answer, by those who voted for them in 2011, to their justification for going into coalition with Fine Gael and continuing where Fianna Fáil and the Greens left off".

Ms Coppinger said a strong result for Anti Austerity Alliance and other “genuine left” candidates and the retention of the Dublin European Parliament seat by Paul Murphy would be “correctly seen as representing a hardening of people’s attitudes towards this government and an indication of a greater preparedness to get out fight the austerity agenda which we have suffered for six years too long”.

Mr Murphy, who is running in Tallaght Central said the alliance’s election campaign was “an important phase in the building of a campaign to resist the water tax”.

He saluted residents across the country who had recently obstructed water meter installation.

“When the bills are issued later this year battle will well and truly be joined. If the Government is still in situ by then it will rightly be seen as a weak and crisis prone government more than it even is at the present moment in time.”

Other candidates include Annette Hughes in Mulhuddart, west Dublin, Philip Wright in Clontarf and Phil Foster in Tallaght South.