IT’S PROTEST DAY (again).
Right2Water have planned demonstrations all over the country today to bring the issue of water charges once more to the fore of the political agenda.
Following recently-released figures from Irish Water that said that 61% of customers had paid bills, campaign organisers will be eager to get people out onto the streets in the numbers they had last year and in 2014, when tens of thousands marched through Dublin.
Responding to claims during the week that the protests had died down recently, campaign organiser Brendan Ogle promised that there would be three major demonstrations on the run up to the election.
He said that the protest on the week before the election would be the “biggest protest in Ireland ever”.
Today, there are approximately 30 smaller, local protests scheduled all around Ireland.
The campaign has support from across the left-wing political spectrum, with members of Sinn Féin, the Anti-Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit expected to be out in force.
Here’s what’s going on in the major cities…
There are a number of demonstrations being held in Dublin.
For the main city centre event, people are being told to assemble at either Connolly Station or Christchurch at 2pm.
From there, people will march to the GPO where speeches will take place.
People are also being asked to meet at St Peter’s Church in Phibsboro, before marching to O’Connell Street.
Gardaí said that they will be monitoring the traffic situation throughout the day. You can expect big restrictions on O’Connell Street, Dame Street and the surrounding areas this afternoon.
The Cork city demonstration will start at 2 o’clock. People are assembling at the library on the Grand Parade at 1.30pm.
There are also protests planned for places outside the city, including Bandon.
Right2Water Galway are assembling at Eyre Square at 2pm, before they march onto the Spanish Arch for a rally.
Organisers say the event will be held in the memory of 1916 leaders, and that no election candidates will be speaking on the podium.
From the Facebook event page:
Once more we are mobilising to change the direction of our country, through people power. Once again we will re-assert our claims to social justice and control of the country’s natural resources in the spirit of 1916 with words from Poblacht na hEireann. Bodhrans welcome!
Right2Water Mid-West are organising the protest in Limerick, with things kicking off at City Hall on Merchant’s Quay at 2pm.
Councillors and local activists are scheduled to speak.
Rest of the country
The Right2Water website has a full list of the major marches scheduled around the country.
There’s demonstrations scheduled in Cavan, Kerry, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo and other counties.
There will be local demonstrations in rural areas with organisers predicting tens of thousands of people to attend in total across the country.