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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 19 October 2021

Paul Murphy was a bit concerned there wouldn't be enough bills to bin at his 'Bin your Bills' protest

The Anti Austerity Alliance has launched a “counter-offensive” against Irish Water, outside the beleaguered utility’s HQ.

ANTI AUSTERITY ALLIANCE TD Paul Murphy and around 20 other activists and elected representatives staged a media-call outside Irish Water HQ on Talbot Street in Dublin this morning.

Its aim: to launch a “counter-offensive against Irish Water bills”.

The first bills from the contentious utility are dropping through letterboxes this week – and the party is planning a series of responses over the next months, including a leafleting campaign, a series of street meetings around the country, and a mass ‘Bin your Bills’ protest in Dublin city centre on Saturday week.

The protest – set to take place at the Garden of Remembrance from 2pm – has been planned for months.

And while it was initially thought that Irish Water would be sending out most – if not all – of its bills in April, the company has since confirmed that it will be June before it’s finished the process of sending out the first tranche of quarterly bills .

“We had a lot of discussions about the timing of the protest and for a while there it looked like the bills wouldn’t be coming out until next week – in which case I think it would have caused a problem in terms of people’s awareness of the protest,” Murphy told reporters.

However, as the first bills are coming out this week “there will be a lot of discussion about it,” he said.

I think it’s likely to be pretty much perfect timing – maybe a few days earlier than would be ideal.

He added:

“I think we’ll hit the tipping point mid next week, and everyone will be talking about it – everyone will see their friends with their bills on Facebook and stuff…

So I think, we’d encourage people – even if you don’t have your bill – to come into the protest and sure you can bin someone else’s bill.

Michael O’Brien – a councillor for the party in the Beaumont/Donaghmede area of Dublin – said he hadn’t spoken to anyone who’d received a bill, but that he’d heard from activists that they were already dropping through letterboxes in north of the county and in Meath.

Read: What would happen if Sinn Féin scraps Irish Water and water charges?

Read: Irish Water says it’s expecting ‘challenges’ as the first bills are sent out

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