Protestors resist Irish Water with 'fierce determination' as campaign spreads

Anti water meter protester John O'Donovan is treated by an ambulance crew

By Padraig Hoare

“THE longer this goes on, the more resolute we are becoming — there is fierce determination to resist Irish Water.”

That was the vow of residents at Ashbrook Heights in Togher and Elmvale in Wilton as they were joined by people all over the city in solidarity at their protest against the installation of water meters in their estate.

Two people were injured in clashes between residents and Irish Water workers yesterday at Ashbrook Heights — a protestor and an Irish Water employee.

Support for the blockades, which see residents either block access or standing on footpath so that meters can’t be installed, is growing.

An impromptu meeting in Farranree this week attracted 70 residents who were almost unanimous in saying they would also engage in protests when Irish Water came to their estates.

Brian Gould of the Ballyphehane and South Parish Anti Water and Property Tax Campaign said that unsavoury scenes between protestors and Irish Water workers at Ashbrook Heights yesterday would not distract from the message of the campaign.

“People are in it for the long haul. The longer it goes on, the more determined people are becoming. We’ve had people coming from the northside of the city to find out how they can get ready to resist when Irish Water comes to their estates. It is not going away.”

Protestor Eddie O’Sullivan said they would not back down.

“It is only just started. It is kicking off all over the country. People are starting to rise up and it is about time that Irish people started to stand up for themselves.”

There were clashes in two Cork estates early yesterday morning with Irish Water staff arrived after 6am, in an apparent attempt to circumvent ongoing blockades by residents.

Gardaí have confirmed they are investigating two reported incidents at Togher yesterday, in which one man was hospitalised.

John O’Donovan was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) by ambulance, alleging he was struck by an Irish Water employee.

A spokesperson for Irish Water said one of its workers was injured in the course of his duty and that it was now a matter for gardaí.

Sinn Féin local election candidate Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the incident was “shocking”.

“There were a number of quite serious health and safety issues.

“Most seriously, I witnessed an incident involving an Irish Water contractor which left a man injured and requiring an ambulance.

“I witnessed this personally, gardaí have taken my contact details, and I hope to be invited to make a statement on the matter in the coming days,” Mr Ó Laoghaire added.

Article courtesy of the Evening Echo newspaper

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