MEMBERS OF THE Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) grouping struck a defiant tone as they tore up their Irish Water bills outside the utility’s Dublin headquarters today.
TD Paul Murphy joined fellow AAA-PBP election candidates Bríd Smith, Michael O’Brien and John Lyons in ripping up his latest bill, which he said he received three months ago despite having never registered for the charges.
Murphy encouraged others to continue boycotting the utility ahead of nationwide Right2Water protests due to take place this Saturday.
“Irish Water and the introduction of water charges has been a disaster for the government,” he said.
Irish Water is a loss-making entity. It is not financially viable because of the massive success of the campaign of opposition. The charge and the company should be abolished.
The AAA TD staged a similar stunt two years ago when he tore up his water charges application form during a Dáil debate.
Smith added: “The establishment, the government and the media have tried to write off the anti-water charges movement time and time again but each time a national protest has been called people have responded in their tens of thousands.
This Saturday’s protest by the Right2Water campaign can send an important message across the country, one week before the election, that despite what Alan Kelly says water charges hasn’t gone away as an issue.
Irish Water said last month that 61% of its customers paid their charges in the last billing cycle – up from 55% at the end of the second cycle.
The first anti-water charge protests drew crowds of up to 100,000 in October and November of 2014 – prompting a major climbdown and scaling back of the charging regime.