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A Sinn Féin poster in Dublin South-West as the by-election looms Hugh O'Connell/

Sinn Féin's Dáil favourite: I'm not paying my water charges

Cathal King is telling his constituents what he’s doing, but not encouraging them to follow suit.

CATHAL KING, THE Sinn Féin candidate and favourite in the Dublin South-West by-election, has said he will not be paying his water charges and is prepared to go to court over the matter.

King, who is the bookies favourite for the election taking place this day week, told this morning that he had returned his Irish Water application form to the company without opening it.

He is operating off the principle of “no contract, no consent” which has been questioned in recent days. The South Dublin county councillor says he is not advising his constituents to do the same as him.

“I’m just telling them what I’ve done,” he said today. “I’ve also told them that I did that in full knowledge that I will probably get an estimated bill, I won’t get an allowance for my two children and I may be brought to court.

“So they’re fully informed of the consequences. It’s having a responsible view on it, rather than telling people what to do it’s informing people.”

His stance differs from that of constituency rival Paul Murphy, the Socialist Party/Anti-Austerity Alliance candidate, who says he is actively encouraging voters to avoid paying water charges by not sending back their application forms with PPS numbers and other details.

“If they are serious about opposition to water charges, they should use their 14 TDs and 159 Councillors to give people confidence to join the boycott, instead of just telling people to vote for them,” Murphy said in a recent statement.

The former MEP told today that King’s position is “insufficient” and added: “They should be working to mobilise people power now to defeat it and use their authority, TDs, and councillors to advocate and support non-payment.”

Sinn Féin has pledged to abolish charges if it is in government, making it a red line issue in any coalition negotiations.

That position has been heavily criticised by the government parties with the Fine Gael and Labour candidates in Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane and Pamela Kearns, today questioning where the party would find the money from to implement such measures.

“Where are they going to get the money? If they want to get it by increasing taxes and ensuring self-employed people and employees pay 62 per cent… do we want to go back to the dark old days?” Keane told today.

  • Look out for more from the Dublin South-West by-election campaign trail on this weekend

Read: Here’s the full list of candidates running in Dublin South-West > 

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