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From a trickle... Water protests now springing up all over Dublin 5

Residents and activists have been turning out at a number of estates in the Raheny/Donaghmede/Edenmore/Kilbarrack area.

Dublin Says No/Facebook

RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN turning out at various locations in the wider Dublin 5 area in recent days to block Irish Water contractors from installing meters — in the wake of an initial demonstration in the Raheny area last week.

A group of up to 20 anti water charges protesters took part in last Wednesday’s protest at Watermill Drive, near St Anne’s Park, in the north Dublin suburb.

Demonstrations have taken place at other locations in the area in recent days, including St Donagh’s estate in Donaghmede and Grange Road in Raheny, and Edenmore Crescent.

Over 20 people also turned out for a protest in the Briarfield area of Kilbarrack today to block workers from installing the devices.

Activists from anti-austerity group Dublin Says No and members of Sinn Féin were amongst those taking part.

Dublin Says No/Facebook

Derek Byrne of Dublin Says No said the movement was gathering pace, with more and more residents contacting his group asking for support outside their homes.

He insisted it was a “non-political” movement and a case of “people standing as people”.

We’re being contacted by people, we’re getting the news around. There’s be more protests in other parts of Dublin.

We’re hearing Tallaght is ready to come out, Darndale is coming out. People are ready to stand up.

Footage captured by the group from last week’s protest showed tempers fraying among demonstrators and contractors alike as the workmen attempted to carry out their task. Gardaí were called to the scene at one point.

However, Byrne insisted that there had been a “great atmosphere” at this week’s protests.

Sinn Féin councillor for the area Michéal McDonncha said a number of party members had been involved in protests in the area in recent days.

Residents are coming out and we’re there in support of them.

He said the demonstrations were largely spontaneous, “and any protests that we’ve been involved in would be entirely peaceful”.

However, McDonncha conceded that given the scale of the task being undertaken by Irish Water in the area the actions could only ever be “token protests”.

There’s no way that individual groups can stop all of the work from taking place, it’s totally impractical.

Irish Water released the following statement, when contacted for comment about the Dublin 5 protests by TheJournal.ie:

As discussed, Irish Water respects the right to protest and endeavours to facilitate this right in so far as is reasonably possible, while maintaining the safety of the staff, the public and the site of work.

From time to time, we have had to temporarily suspend works to maintain health and safety, however, the rate of the installation programme is still on target.  We are installing over 1,000 meters per day, with 200,000 installed to date.

Byrne said he had been in touch with organisers of the protests at Wilton and Togher in Cork, where residents at a fourth housing estate joined the anti-water charges protest today.

Residents of Elm Vale in Wilton joined their neighbours in the estates of Ashbrook Heights, Fernwood Crescent and the Palmbury Estate in mounting blockades, Red FM News reports.

Related: Protesters: ‘We ran them from the whole area’ … Irish Water: ‘No you didn’t’>

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