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Water Protests - Adams says Charges will be scrapped

31 January, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams today took part in a Sinn Féin picket in Dundalk  in protest at the imposition of Water Charges. It was one of scores held across the state.

Gerry Adams praised the thousands who have “consistently taken part in peaceful, good natured protests against the water charges.”

However, the Louth TD was critical of those who have on occasion “distracted from the positive message of the right to water campaigners by irresponsible behaviour.”

Teachta Adams said:

“The vast majority of protests have been family friendly, good humoured and very effective. They succeeded in forcing major concessions from the Government

"However, there is a tiny minority of groups who believe that the water charges campaign is an opportunity for the promotion of their ultra-left politics.

"Others see the protests as a platform against all politicans and An Garda Síochána.

"Their irresponsible actions do not reflect the views of the tens of thousands of families who have come out to protest against the imposition of this unjust tax.

"More importantly, their behaviour has played into the hands of the establishment who use it to discredit the anti-water charges protests.

"Despite the conduct of this tiny minority the Government was forced to change its stance by the will of the people asserted in mass, peaceful peaceful protest.

"The campaign will continue. It must be peaceful and safe and encourage the largest number of citizens to participate.

"Ultimately the only way that water charges will be scrapped will be by a decision in government. Sinn Féin is pledged to do that.

"We stopped the imposition of water charges in the North and in government we will scrap them in this state.

Water is a human right. It has to be paid for but not as a double tax on hard pressed citizens.

"This regressive tax, coupled with the others already imposed by Fine Gael and Labour, is crippling households and families.

"Today’s demonstrations are an expression of opposition to the government’s austerity policies as well as water charges.”

Mr Adams also criticised the Taoiseach for pushing through the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry into the findings of the Guerin Report into Garda malpractice in the Cavan/Monaghan area in the Dáil on Wednesday.

He said

"Sinn Féin rejects the Ceann Comhairle's claim that we are campaigning against him.

"While I took issue with his decision my main contention was that the Taoiseach should re-arrange the debate for another time to allow full discussion on the important issue involved.

"The Taoiseach refused to do this. He also did not tell the Dáil of the letter from a member of the Fine Gael party, former Minister Alan Shatter, until pressed into doing so.

"The main responsibility for the current controversy, re-ignited by Seán Barrett's interview lies with An Taoiseach."

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