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Disruptions at Dublin and Galway council meetings over property tax

Meetings of South Dublin and Fingal county councils, and of Galway City Council, were interrupted by protestors.

Demonstrators against property taxes and water charges protest at South Dublin County Council's monthly meeting in Tallaght.
Demonstrators against property taxes and water charges protest at South Dublin County Council's monthly meeting in Tallaght.

A NUMBER of local council meetings across the country have been disrupted by demonstrators protesting against the introduction of property taxes and water charges.

Meetings of the county councils in South Dublin and Fingal were interrupted, as was a meeting of Galway City Council – where authorities locked the front doors of the city hall to stop protestors from entering the building.

Proceedings at South Dublin County Council in Tallaght were interrupted for about 20 minutes when a group of protestors entered the chamber during a debate on motions which themselves criticised the property tax.

A witness said the demonstrators entered a part of the council chamber which is usually accessible only to members of the council and not to the general public.

Photos posted to Twitter by demonstrators showed Socialist MEP Paul Murphy, who was among the protestors, was arrested by plain-clothes Gardaí.

County mayor Cathal King, of Sinn Féin, tried unsuccessfully to encourage the protestors to allow councillors continue their meeting.

The monthly meeting of Fingal County Council was also temporarily adjourned when members of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes entered the lobby of the council building in Swords and chanted anti-government slogans.

Campaign member Eileen Gabbett said politicians had “left us with no option but to stage this type of protest. They won’t come and listen to us, so we must come to them”.

“It’s a sad day that we have to occupy public buildings to be heard,” she said.

A protest was also held in the main lobby of Dublin’s city hall, though no meeting was taking place at the venue.

The campaign’s Facebook page said further protests were planned for this evening’s meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council.

Legislation to give legal effect to the property tax has already been passed by the Oireachtas, while the legislation behind water charges has been passed by the Seanad and is currently awaiting approval in the Dáil.

Read: Cork City Council meeting abandoned after property tax protests

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Gavan Reilly

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