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Three anti-household charge TDs unhappy with national rally

Three of the nine TDs involved in the campaign against the household charge have criticised the Socialist Party TDs for taking key speaking slots at today’s rally in Dublin.

TDs including Richard Boyd Barrett and Thomas Pringle at the launch of the campaign in December
TDs including Richard Boyd Barrett and Thomas Pringle at the launch of the campaign in December
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THREE OF THE nine TDS involved in the anti-household charge campaign have expressed their unhappiness with the speakers at today’s national rally in Dublin against the charge.

In a letter to the steering committee of the campaign, the three TDs criticise the Socialist Party for taking the “key” opening and closing speaking slots, and warn against one political party dominating the campaign.

In the letter seen by TheJournal.ie, they also say that the speakers do not adequately represent the “geographical and political diversity” of the campaign.

The three TDs – Richard Boyd Barrett and Seamus Healy of the ULA and Independent TD Thomas Pringle – criticise the steering committee of the campaign for not having an Independent TD or People Before Profit TD as key note speakers. The three describe the move as “both unfair and potentially damaging to the credibility of the campaign”.

The letter states:

It is difficult to understand why two Socialist Party TDs should take the key opening and closing speaking slots, while TDs from areas such as the South East and the North West and other areas outside Dublin are not represented when some of the biggest protests and meetings have been held in these areas.

It goes on:

Equally, we believe this is important in terms of representing the diversity of political forces involved and to guard against any perception that one political party is dominating the campaign. We again fail to understand why an Independent TD or People Before Profit TD are not featuring as key note speakers. We feel this is both unfair and potentially damaging to the credibility of the campaign.

The three TDs called on the steering committee of the Campaign Against Household And Water Taxes to remedy the situation. A spokesperson for the campaign was not available to comment this afternoon.

Public rally in Dublin today

A total of nine TDs have backed the campaign urging a boycott of the household charge, including two Socialist Party TDs, Clare Daly and Joe Higgins, three United Left Alliance TDs, Joan Collins, Richard Boyd Barrett and Seamus Healy, and four Independent TDs, Thomas Pringle, John Halligan, Mick Wallace and Luke Flanagan.

The Campaign Against the Household Charge is holding a public rally at the National Stadium in Dublin this afternoon with people from across the country due to attend.

Over 80 per cent of households have not yet paid the €100 charge.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins told the Dáil yesterday that the government is ‘delusional on a Marie Antoinette scale’ if it believes that people are merely waiting until the last minute to pay the charge.

Read: Full coverage of the household charge >

More: Joe Higgins says Government delusional on a ‘Marie Antoinette scale’ >

More: Postmasters ‘mystified’ that Household Charge cannot be paid at Post Office >

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