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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 24 July, 2016
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TODAY SAW MORE than 100,000 people taking to the streets of towns and cities all over Ireland to protest against the introduction of water charges.

We liveblogged the demonstrations, and reaction to them, as they happened, from 11am.

Here’s how it all went.

The protests are kicking off at a range of different times – according to Right2Water, some began at 11am, while others won’t begin until 2pm.

It says that over 90 protests have been arranged so far.

Phil Hogan – the new EU Agriculture Commissioner and former Minister for the Environment – says that it’s either water charges or more income tax.

Speaking to Newstalk yesterday, he said:

I understand the depth of feeling there is for various reasons with people at a time when they’ve gone through an awful lot of pain but at the end of the day there is a choice to be made. You pay as you use for a service or you pay more in income tax.

What are your thoughts on his comments? Tell us below.

Some politicians have been tweeting about attending their local protest, like Nessa Childers:

And here’s what’s said to be the Tallaght protest crowd:

And Finglas:

We’ve heard plenty from the capital so far, but we’re finally seeing a lively presence from around the country.

One national organiser gave us an estimate of 97 marches in total throughout Ireland – remember to send your photos into tips@thejournal.ie

Oh the irony: The rain is already bucketing down, especially in the south of the country, and Met Éireann has put a rainfall warning in place for Munster and South Leinster, with 20 to 30 mm expected this afternoon and evening.

rain

Some more photos from around the country (lots of brollies to be seen here, so perhaps the worries about inclement weather a bit premature):

In Dublin, there is a crowd waiting at Connolly Station, as captured by our colleague Christine Bohan:

IMG_2014

IMG_2017

IMG_2016

As we said earlier, crowd numbers are an inexact science – one national organiser, Right2Water, is saying that their early estimations are there were about 1000 people in Phibsboro, 2000 in Shannon, 500 in Bandon, 1000 in Ringsend/Pearse St, and about 650 in Blessington. That hasn’t been confirmed by gardaí.

More photos from around the country:

Letterkenny

Waterford

Minister of State Ged Nash was just on RTÉ, where he said that “serious mistakes” were made in the establishment of Irish Water, and that the timeframe was “very ambitious and very exacting”.

Asked about the charges, he said that over the next few weeks the Government “will introduce a new range of packages that will be fair and transparent”.

He reiterated Phil Hogan’s comments when he said:

We either pay for [water] through a direct charging system or we do it through additional income taxes.

He also said that Irish Water “needs to be accountable”.

Despite what looks like torrential rain, there’s a particularly strong turnout in Tralee this afternoon, with organisers estimating 4,500 protesters there.

The demonstration in the town is causing heavy traffic delays, according to AA Roadwatch.

Towns and cities all over Ireland are quite simply being filled with water protests. Here’s just a selection of readers’ photos from around the country, which are flying in to tips@thejournal.ie

Cork city

corkwater Source: Dennis O'Brien

Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim

carrick Source: Shirley Rigney

Celbridge, Co Kildare

celbridge

Blanchardstown Town Centre, Dublin 15

blanch Source: Anthony Clarke

Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary

carrickonsuir Source: Daryl Walsh

Waterford city

waterford Source: Aidan Dunne

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald was at the water charges protest in Cabra in north Dublin earlier, where she called today “a triumphant day for democracy.”

The protests today are not just a show of anger against epic mismanagement and a government once again failing the vulnerable.

People have come out today in their hundreds and thousands because they simply cannot afford to pay these charges.

By the way, in case you missed it earlier, we asked every TD and Senator if they’ll be paying their water charges.

You might find their answers interesting, to say the least.

There’s plenty of anger and determination out there today, but there’s also a lot of good humour.

Here’s a sample:

Ok, with most marches breaking up or finished, here’s a roundup of SOME provisional turnout figures provided by organisers.

DUBLIN

Walkinstown 5,000

Phibsboro 1,000

Ringsend 1,000

Swords 4,000

Tallaght 1,500

Rialto 1,200

Ballyfermot 1,000

Cabra 1,200

Stoneybatter 200

Blanchardstown 4,000

Waterford city 10,000

LEITRIM

Carrick-on-Shannon 2,000

LOUTHDrogheda 1,700

 

KILDARE

 

Naas 2,500

Leixlip 650

Maynooth 700

Celbridge 1,000

 

MEATH

 

Kells 400

 

Navan 5,000

 

TIPPERARY

 

Carrick-on-Suir 1,000

Cashel 500

Nenagh 1,200

KERRYTralee 4,500

 

CLARE

 

Shannon 2,000

 

CORK

 

Bandon 500

 

WICKLOW

 

Blessington 650

 

ROSCOMMON

 

Boyle 700

Roscommon town 2,500

The Right2Water campaign, one of the leading organisers of today’s protests, has estimated the turnout to be “well over 150,000″ at more than 100 marches nationwide.

Here’s part of the statement they’ve just issued:

Despite torrential rain, our expectations have been massively exceeded, with well over 150,000 people coming out in every neighbourhood, town and village…

Details of a major rally outside the Dail on December 10th – International Human Rights Day – will be announced during the coming days.

We would stress that those figures are unofficial and provided by organisers, but they also say there are many towns and local communities who haven’t yet reported turnouts.

An Garda Síochána aren’t offering their own figures, or commenting on existing estimates.

Before we go, here’s another round-up of some of the best of your photos from across Ireland today:

Spotted in Dungarvan, Co Waterford

dungarvan Source: Cassie Kirby

Drogheda, Co Louth

drogheda

The Umbrella Revolution comes to Ballinasloe, Co Galway

ballinasloe Source: Luke Mac an Bháird

Bray, Co Wicklow

bray Source: Brendan Murphy

Wexford town

wexford Source: Tom Harpur

And from the Twittersphere…

Blanchardstown

That’s all, folks.

Whether you were frantically emailing us photos, tweeting tips, or making your contribution to the comments section – thanks for joining in and staying with us since 11 this morning.

If you were marching on the streets, go somewhere warm and dry for the rest of the evening.

Good night!

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