National demonstration against water charges gets underway in Dublin

Protesters will meet at Heuston Station and Connolly Station before marching to St Stephen's Green

National demonstration against water charges gets underway in Dublin

Image: Amy Molloy

A national demonstration against water charges is taking place in Dublin this afternoon.

Groups from around the country convened at Connolly and Heuston stations, and are marching towards St Stephen's Green.

Organisers said they were expecting tens of thousands to take to the streets of the capital in support of the complete abolition of the charges.

These protesters explained why they are attending today's demonstration:

Water charges are currently suspended, pending the outcome of an expert commission which is examining the future of water services.

However Right2Water Co-ordinator David Gibney says people want to see the charges scrapped completely.

"People are very frustrated and angry at the fact that 70% of TDs who were returned to the Dáil this time around are against water charges - yet Fine Gael and the Government have managed to prolong the debate about this," he argued.

"They're subverting democracy and that's the way people feel. [People] are mobilising like never before for this demonstration because they're so frustrated."

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy, meanwhile, says he doesn't have confidence in the expert commission on water charges.

He says we should "simply cut out the middle man" of the commission and have the Dáil vote on the issue.

Sinn Féin has also urged people to get involved in today's protest, with party leader Gerry Adams saying: "Let us send a very clear signal to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil that water charges must be scrapped.”

As well as calling for abolition of charges, the Right2Water group is also campaigning for a referendum to guarantee public ownership of water, as well as the rejection of the TTIP and CETA international trade agreements.