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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 21 May, 2018
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'Irish Water is dead': Hundreds turn out for protest in Alan Kelly's hometown

“The minister needs to go back to the drawing board.”

Image: Gerard Craughwell

HUNDREDS OF PROTESTERS turned out for an anti-water charges demonstration in Nenagh today.

People travelled from several counties to the Tipperary town, home of Environment Minister Alan Kelly.

The number of demonstrators present has been disputed, with independent Senator Gerard Craughwell saying about 200 people were there and one of the protest’s organisers, Kevin McLoughlin, saying the figure was closer to 500.

McLoughlin told TheJournal.ie: “Irish Water is dead and it’s just a matter of time before it winds up.”

Craughwell echoed this sentiment, saying the semi-state utility is “doomed” and “has no future”.

The Senator said he accepts that people have to pay for water charges but the current model must be scrapped.

“It seems to have to hit on the nerves of people. This is going to be a massive issue for this government,” Craughwell said.

Craughwell added that the coalition has “lost credibility” in relation to the charges following Eurostat’s decision Irish Water can’t be kept off the government’s books.

He described the protesters as “ordinary, decent, farming-type people”, noting the atmosphere was “determined” but “jovial” and not aggressive in the same way some previous demonstrations have been.

TheJournal.ie has contacted the Department of Environment for comment.

Read: Could water charges cost the government over €70 million this year?

Read: The latest poll is out – and it’s bad news for Enda

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Órla Ryan

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