More than 7,000 protest in Donegal against water charges

Irish politicians in Brussels ‘too used to drinking wine and eating cheese’

Anti-water charge demonstrators pictured today during  the national water charge protest. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Anti-water charge demonstrators pictured today during the national water charge protest. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

A crowd of more than 7,000 turned out in Co Donegal today to send a message that locals will not pay water charges.

The crowd marched from the Port Roundabout to Market Square in Letterkenny where speakers were met with enthusiastic rounds of applause.

The crowd, which included families and children, was one of the biggest protest marches in the area in living memory.

Other rallies took place across Donegal in Lifford and Ballyshannon.

A number of people burned their Irish Water registration in a barbeque to cheers from the crowd.

Demonstrators carried banners including one which read ‘Irish Water Can Fliuch Off.’ Others featured pictures of Joan Burton on a broomstick.

Throughout the march, the crowd chanted slogans including ‘From the rivers to the sea, Irish water will be free.’

A number of speakers addressed the crowd including TDs Thomas Pringle (Independent) and Padraig Mac Lochalinn (Sinn Féin).

Mr Pringle received a huge response when he told the crowd “I have a message for the Government – shove your water taxes back where they came from.”

Mr Mac Locnlainn said Irish politicians in Brussels had become too used to drinking wine and eating cheese to remember that Irishness was about being part of a community and being decent.

Other speakers included Charlie McDyer from the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay Group, Martin Mooney from Letterkenny Against Water Charges, Eoin Curran form the Cloughnaeely Anti-Water Charges group, Corinna McCallig from Donegal Says No and Joe Murphy from Donegal Action Against Austerity.