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Sinn Féin to hold Silent Valley protest at Water Charges

25 March, 2004

As part of Sinn Féin's ongoing protest against the imposition of Water Charges by British NIO Ministers Sinn Féin will be holding a protest at the Silent Valley reservoir in South Down at 1pm this Saturday, 27th March.

Silent Valley is the biggest reservoir in the North and is one of the top tourist attractions. It supplies water to the greater Belfast area.

Sinn Féin South Down MLA's Willie Clarke and Caitríona Ruane will be there as well as local Sinn Féin councillors along with Sinn Féin activists and members of the local community. Speaking ahead of the protest Ms Ruane said:

"British NIO Ministers are acting as if the imposition of Water Charges is a foregone conclusion. It isn't.

"Across the political spectrum, throughout the trade union movement and all communities there is widespread opposition to the Water Charges.

"At some point British NIO Ministers will have to either admit that they don't care what local people think and that they are prepared to deny the democratic rights of people living in the Six Counties or they will have to accept that they have failed to make the case for their water tax.

"It is wrong that the British government want to tax local people because of the investment they failed to make in our water services, particularly as the real agenda is to tax people here in order to ripen our water services for privatisation. We only have to look at how the British government has handled the privatisation of our Electricity supply and the introduction of a gas monopoly to see that they cannot be trusted with our essential supplies." ENDS

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