Blocking water contractors 'unacceptable', says Minister

Government Ministers have strongly criticised a number of protests against the installation of water meters.

Residents in Togher, Co Cork started the demonstrations earlier this week by blocking metering in the Ashbrook Estate.

The protests last night spread to Raheny in Dublin.

WARNING: Language used NSFW

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton says workers carrying out the works should be treated with "respect" and that she had hoped the metering would be carried out much more swiftly.

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that targeting contractors is not acceptable.

"I don't know who's behind it at this stage, but I think it's unacceptable," she said.

"This is a public service in terms of water meters have to be installed and the men and women out there doing that work should be allowed to get on with it."

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton was asked this morning whether allowing the issue to drag on closer to the local and European elections was an example of bad management.

“Well, I’ve never seen a tax introduced that’s popular and I think that’s the reality,” he said.

“But I think there’s also an understanding in Ireland that we’re in a difficult transition from an economy that’s almost bankrupt itself, and there’s a lot of change we have to make, a lot of systems are broken that have to be looked at afresh, and water is very much one of them.”

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