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Nothing short of the complete scrapping of water charges will satisfy the people - Mary Lou McDonald TD

8 November, 2014 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that nothing short of the complete scrapping of water charges will satisfy the people.

Speaking in Dublin this morning, Deputy McDonald said;

“The government seem to be suggesting that the people who took to the streets, in their droves, last Saturday were marching to hear yet another week of government spin, bribes and threats in relation to water charges.

“The response to the protests, from the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton, has been absolutely mind-boggling.

“They say that they have listened to the people. Well, they clearly didn’t hear what the people had to say.

“The hundreds of thousands who marched with the Right2Water campaign last week were demanding the abolition of water charges. They were saying that being forced, by this government, to pay yet another unjust charge is the final straw.

“The message that rang, loud and clear, from the protest was that we as ordinary, decent people see our right to water as one of our most basic human rights.

“There has been much made of a so-called “sinister fringe” attempting to take-over protests. There can be no place for physical or violent approaches during the demonstrations. This is true in the case of excessive force by members of An Garda Síochána or by demonstrators.

“However, the government much accept that it their policies and their bullying-boy tactics that have created the highly-charged climate surrounding this issue. It is not surprising that the government are inflating such incidents in order to deflect from the central issue.

“Minister Alan Kelly has now conceded that the government will not reduce water to a trickle for people who fail to pay. He must now also make it clear if the government intend to take payment for water directly from social welfare payments.

“The reality is that only the complete scrapping of water charges will satisfy the people. That is the only update they want to hear from the government on this matter.”

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