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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland Gerry Adams
# Changed his mind
Gerry Adams now says he WON'T pay water charges on his Donegal holiday home
The Sinn Féin president will also not disclose if the friend he stays with in Louth is paying his water charges.

Updated 4 November 2014

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams has decided not to pay the water charges on his holiday home in Donegal, saying he is doing so “as a mark of solidarity” with “hard pressed citizens”.

Adams made the remarks in a statement issued this afternoon saying that Sinn Féin “is standing firmly with those families and hard pressed citizens who very simply cannot pay the Government’s water tax”.

His comments are a reversal of his original intention to pay the charge and follow Mary Lou McDonald and Pearse Doherty confirming in the last 24 hours that they also will NOT pay having previously said they would.

“As a mark of solidarity, I have decided that I will not pay this Government’s Water Tax,” Adams said.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson confirmed that Adams was referring to his holiday home in Donegal for which he is liable for water charges. The Louth TD said as recently as 13 October that he would be paying his Irish Water bill.

Sinn Féin has previously said that the Louth TD “stays with a friend” while in his constituency.

But the party would not say whether or not this friend will be paying his charges. ”That’s his business,” a spokesperson said.

Not complying

Adams’s decision to not comply with Irish Water makes him the seventh Sinn Féin Oireachtas member to confirm they will not pay after deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald also stated yesterday that she had changed her mind and would not be paying.

The party’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty confirmed on Highland Radio earlier today that he also will not pay.

TDs Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Padraig MacLochlainn and senator David Cullinane have also confirmed they will not pay.

In his statement today, Adams added: “It is clear that the Taoiseach has totally underestimated the level of public anger at the imposition of domestic water charges and the determination that now exists to defeat them.

“Citizens, sick to the teeth of relentless austerity, with one new tax and charge after another, spoke loudly and clearly across this State, and in every county, on Saturday. Their message was crystal clear – they will not accept the Water Tax.”

Sinn Féin intends to introduce a bill in the Dáil this week calling for a referendum to retain control of the country’s water supply in public ownership – an idea originally put forward by the Green Party and which Fianna Fáil also supports.

Earlier, Environment Minister Alan Kelly would not rule out the possibility of a referendum being held.

Read: We asked every TD and Senator if they’re paying their water charges. Here’s what they said…

Read: Drogheda mayor left Fine Gael over Irish Water’s ‘cronyism, bonuses, allowances and privatisation’

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