Release of water protesters welcome but "enforced metering" must stop- Lynn Boylan MEP
Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has welcomed the release of the jailed Water Protesters today but has called on the government to end what she has deemed "enforced metering".
Speaking from Strasbourg, where the European Parliament is sitting this week, the MEP said:
“I was delighted to hear the news that the water protesters have been released. I welcome the decision and I send the protesters and their families my very best wishes.
"As I said at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis at the weekend, the behaviour of the government towards those who engage in protest is unjust. The enforced metering, the catalyst for protests, must stop now. The sight of dozens of Gardaí enforcing metering in neighbourhoods is totally unwarranted. The Gardaí are not Fine Gael and Labour's private security firm and Garda resources should be used to the benefit of local communities not to the detriment of communities.
"We also read today that over 8,000 people were imprisoned last year for non-payment of small fines. It is a ludicrous situation that protesters and those who cannot afford to pay small fines are imprisoned.
"Today is a good day for the protesters and for their families. We now look forward to the Right2Water demonstration on the 21st of March, where citizens opposed to this unjust tax are urged to march peacefully against this charge.”