Updated 3.55 pm
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ‘Right2Water’ protesters have thronged Dublin’s streets.
The crowds assembled at the Parnell St end of O’Connell Street and heard speeches from a range of people including Richard Boyd-Barrett TD, Lynn Boylan MEP and formerly jailed protester Bernie Hughes.
It’s the fourth major ’Right2Water’ national day of protest.
Boylan addressed Taoiseach Enda Kenny while speaking to the assembled crowds.
“Enda Kenny, does this look like a dying movement to you?,” she asked.
The general secretary of the Communication Workers Union also proposed a constitutional amendment to enshrine public ownership of water.
He said the suggested text would read,
“The Government shall be collectively responsible for the protection, management and maintenance of the public water system. The Government shall ensure in the public interest that this resource remains in public ownership and management. ”
Protesters converged on Dublin’s O’Connell Street after marching from three locations in the capital. Merrion Square, Connolly Station and Heuston Station.
A man in his sixties called Des came from Leitrim for today’s protest saying he is “fed up, fed up, fed up.”
“I can’t and won’t pay, none of my friends and family can pay, they all won’t pay. We are just normal people and there are so many like us I just don’t know how this can continue for much longer.”
Sarah from Cork says that she is happy the momentum in the protest has continued.
“They could get this crowd every weekend, and cause a peaceful standstill at a quiet time of the day. Everyone cares about this and everyone will come out to it,” she says
Speaking earlier on Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ, Paul Murphy TD said that today’s protests are for “the people” because the government haven’t listened.
“We know that the government isn’t going to listen to us, that’s clear. They haven’t listened after the previous protests that went to the Dáil.”
“So this isn’t aimed so much at the government as the people. To give people confidence that, contrary to all the suggestions of the baby carrots of the delay of the bill and the temporary reduction of the bill, and the sticks of the intimidation and the jailing, that they haven’t worked.”
Marchers at the rally have been joined by anti-racism marchers taking part in the ‘M21′ march to mark UN Anti-Racism Day, organisers have confirmed.
- With reporting from Daragh Brophy and Nicky Ryan