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Amid "fascist" claims, Dublin City Council wants jailed water protesters released

A motion was passed by 27 votes to 22.

PastedImage-52314 Cllr. John Lyons ahead of last night's vote. Source: Youtube/USi Ireland

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL last night passed a motion calling for the release of the four jailed anti-water charge protesters.

The motion was proposed by People Before Profit’s Cllr. Bríd Smith and was passed by 27 votes to 22.

It was supported by Sinn Féin and a number of other left leaning groupings. It was opposed by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil.

The motion also called for an end for the 20m exclusion zone around water meter installers. The men were jailed after breaching a High Court injunction enforcing the exclusion zone.

PastedImage-90017 Source: Dublin City Council

The motion was passed following a heated debate in which Cllr. Dermot Lacey described some of those involved in water protests as “fascists”.

The Labour representative later defended the description:

Cllr. Smith argued during the debate that, “the jailing protesters is a complete waste of time and public monies”.

“There are more protesters out there every day peacefully preventing the installation of water meters on their homes, ” she said.

A protest was also held outside Dublin Castle ahead of last night’s vote. The protesters were calling for the release of the men and the reversal of water charges.

“The motion also calls on the judge to immediately lift a 20m exclusion zone which has in effect, tried to anyway, to ban peaceful and effective protest,” People Before Profit Cllr. John Lyons said ahead of the vote.

Source: USi Ireland/YouTube

Bernie Hughes and Derek Byrne were jailed for 28 days by the Criminal Courts of Justice last month. Paul Moore and Damien O’Neill were handed down 56 days each.

Read: Prison service says water charge protesters are not ‘on complete lock down’ >

Read: “We are winning this campaign”: Families tell water protesters to stop hunger strike >

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Rónán Duffy

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