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Next mass 'day of action' on water charges will be in March (not April)

Tomorrow’s protests aren’t being organised centrally, but the next ‘Right2Water’ action will happen before the first bills arrive.

A scene from the last major protest, on 10 December
A scene from the last major protest, on 10 December
Image: Niall Carson

Updated at 12.05pm

THE NEXT ‘Right2Water’ mass protest against water charges will take place in March, the Socialist Party has confirmed.

The party has moved to clarify the date this morning, after we reported earlier that the next mass action would take place on 25 April.

That article was based on comments by Socialist TD Joe Higgins, who said on Morning Ireland that he understood Right2Water was going to call “for a major protest in April — the 25th”.

“Joe made a slight mistake,” a party staff members said in an email.

“The next national protest organised by Right 2 Water will be in March, the details will go up shortly on the www.right2water.ie website. It will be a significant and important protest.”

A separate “Bin your Bills” protest is being organised by the ‘Non-Payment Network’ most likely on the 25th of April, the email added.

Protests tomorrow

Local protests are taking place across the country tomorrow, but none of the events have been centrally organised by ‘Right2Water’ — which is supported by a range of trade unions, left-wing politicians and parties, and community campaigners.

A number of speakers at the last mass rally against the charging regime, in December, flagged 31 January as the date for the next large-scale demonstration. Groups have been organising their own demonstrations for tomorrow on that basis.

They come just 48 hours before the 2 February registration deadline for Irish Water.

“We’re not actually organising the protests but we are fully supportive of them,” a spokesperson for Right2Water told TheJournal.ie earlier this week. 

Higgins said earlier that certain sections of the media hostile to the anti-water charges campaign were “deliberately tying to set up a situation of bench-marking what happens tomorrow against the three major events that happened in October, November and December”.

The protests tomorrow will be locally-based — with large demonstrations planned for some towns and cities, and more “widely dispersed” actions elsewhere, he said.

It was never designed or organised or centrally brought together in any way and was not meant to be in the same way as the three key events last year.

He said he expected more events would be planned in the coming months. “The focus is now shifting very much to April and May when the bills begin to arrive.”

The steering committee of Right2Water held a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement at the start of this month the group’s committee said it had decided to “take a number of weeks to prepare a comprehensive campaign strategy for 2015, including a timetable of events and a sustainable funding model”.

Read: Man who called the President “midget parasite” is main organiser of mass anti-charges rally

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