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Dublin: 21 °C Sunday 21 April, 2019

'Festival for Change': Calls for voters to protest like it's 2014 at last big rally before election

Organiser Brendan Ogle has predicted it will be “the biggest protest in Ireland ever”.

ORGANISERS OF TODAY’S Right2Change protest in Dublin city centre want voters to roll the clock back to the latter half of 2014.

They’re appealing for a large turnout at this afternoon’s College Green protest.

Water charges protest Source: PA WIRE

Supported by a range of unions, left-wing parties and politicians, Right2Change grew out of the anti-water charge protest movement which reached its peak in the autumn and winter of 2014 as tens of thousands of people turned out for rallies in the capital.

The movement is credited with forcing the government into a climbdown on water charges, as a lower capped rate was announced by environment minister Alan Kelly.

Numbers at protests have declined over the past year or so – but organiser Brendan Ogle said last month he was predicting today’s rally would be “the biggest protest in Ireland ever”.

Confirming details for this afternoon’s event, the umbrella group this week described the rally as a major national demonstration and a ‘festival for change’.

College Green

Marchers are being asked to gather at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square at 2pm. They’ll then cross the Liffey at O’Connell Bridge, proceeding along the quays and up Winetavern Street, past Dublin City Council’s offices.

Speakers will address the crowd from a stage set up at College Green, with the line-up to include election candidates running under the Right2Change banner.

“We are expecting large numbers to travel to Dublin city centre for a national demonstration – once again asserting our Right2Water and opposition to water charges, and raising our voice for our Right2Change,” Ogle said in a statement.

Along with a number of smaller parties and independents, Sinn Féin and People Before Profit are both running under the Right2Change banner.

However the Anti-Austerity Alliance, the other half of the AAA-PBP alliance, is not. The AAA issued a statement in November saying it was a mistake to have SF at the centre of the movement, and accusing Gerry Adams’ party of a “power grab” (it’s complicated).

Read: Anti-water charges leader promises “biggest protest in Ireland ever” before election

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