Non Payment Network Demonstration Success in the Sunshine

DubMarchApr18.jpg

The march passed off peacefully with marchers clearly enjoying themselves chanting slogans all along the route, such as 'Enda Enda Enda Out Out Out', 'No Way, We Won't Pay',  Ruth Coppinger TD told the people that this was the start of the next phase of the campaign, non payment.  She said that the Non Payment Network will be holding many more demonstrations throughout the country.  There was  a symbolic binning of Irish Water bills at Leinster House.  According to Ruth Coppinger, many people had still not received irish Water bills.

Demonstration against Irish Water and Water Charges Dublin Saturday April 18, 2015

Non Payment Network, organisers of the national demonstration against Irish Water and the water charges were delighted with the massive turnout. Demonstrators gathered in lovely sunshine at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square and then marched to Dail Eireann, Leinster House where they were addressed by several speakers including Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy of the Anti Austerity Alliance.


Woman left bloodied after gardai attempt to move anti-water charge protesters

The woman was sitting in a doorway at Fingal County Council.

A WOMAN HAS made a statement to gardaí after she was left bloodied at an anti-water charges protest today.
The woman was one of four protesters who had lodged themselves in a revolving door at Fingal County Council this afternoon.
A video posted on the Dublin Says No Facebook page shows gardaí attempting to remove the protesters. There is some resistance and the sound of glass shattering, though the video does not show how it happened.
A second video shows the woman being escorted from the offices by security staff and gardaí, her face and clothes bloodied.


Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Eugene Coppinger tonight
told TheJournal.ie that around 25 protesters were
now at Swords Garda Station and a number of protesters
were giving statements to the gardaí.  He said that the woman
had been treated by ambulance staff on the scene, but had lost
a lot of blood. He said that people had a right to protest.  
“This was a peaceful protest. People have a right to breach
security if they want.”
Gardaí say that they were called to attend a protest today while
removing a protesters from the doorway, a woman received a
“minor injury”, being treated on scene.
The matter is being investigated by gardaí.

thejournal.ie April 13,2015

Irish Times April 13,2015


Frequently targeted local authority has spent €33,000 on security over past two years


Fianna Fáil councillor Darragh Butler said Monday’s council meeting went ahead as planned, with the protest having no effect on the evening’s business.
He said he counted about 15 to 20 protesters outside the county hall and about eight gardaí.
He said the costs of providing security at meetings was an “awful waste” of council money. “I have no problem with peaceful protest but clearly when you jump over or go around three different barriers, that’s not peaceful protest,” he said.
“The council didn’t bring in the water charges, the Government did.”

Irish Water, Alan Kelly's Colosseum

anticipation of forthcoming penalties

There are rumours floating around the web that Alan Kelly, Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government,  is bringing out, after the Easter Holidays, measures to combat non payers of the disputed water charges.  After the good weather over the Easter break all Government ministers will be returning to the arena,  well tanned, refreshed and raring to go.  They will be there cheering Alan Kelly,  urging him on to fulfil Nero's destiny and send the lions in to maul the condemned protesters who defied him by refusing to pay.

For anyone not up to speed  with the issues around Irish Water,  Buncrana Together wrote an article (Fine Gael/Labour Government Panic Over Non Payment Of Water Charges).  This should give you details on the background.

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Christian_Martyrs'_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113.jpg

What will his punishment be?  Will it have the desired effect?  The lions are waiting with bated breadth.   Will his punishment be, creating fast-track courts, taking money out of wages, deductions from social welfare benefits or putting it on rents or property?  He will give us his answer maybe this week.   As for the desired effect, Alan should take a  lesson from Nero who chose to persecute the Christians in hideous ways to cover up his mistakes.  Despite his great brutality Nero found himself public enemy and he was brought down.   

In the end of the day it may not matter what legislation the Irish Government brings in.  Fliuch, a Cork based anti water charge group, has told us " Apparently Alan Kelly is bringing in the legislation when they come back after the Easter break but whatever he brings in can't kick in until the already announced penalty dates expire."

 Alan Kelly Minister for Environment

Alan Kelly Minister for Environment

Interesting!   What penalties?  Does legislation exist already to tackle nonpayment?    


Irish Water state on their web page

"The Water Services Act (No.2) Act 2013 does not allow customers to be disconnected for not paying their water bill. Irish Water will engage with customers to understand the reason for non-payment and may be able to provide a solution, taking into account the customer’s circumstance.

All customers who have unpaid arrears of at least the annual capped charge and haven’t entered into a payment plan with Irish Water, will attract an automatic late payment penalty of €30 (1 adult household) or €60 (all other households) for each year that the charges remain unpaid. This will be added to bills three months following a year of non-payment."

So it turns out there are penalties on the statute books already,  kicking in after 15 months and these charges will be levied each year of non-payment.   

 Ruth Coppinger TD

Ruth Coppinger TD

Ruth Coppinger, Socialist TD, said in the Irish Examiner on March 24, 2015
"On penalties we will now have to see if the Government are going to change the law for a third time, their only other option is to impose heavy fines, let’s see if they dare to change the law,”