Two major anti Irish Water protests are scheduled to take place in both Castlebar and Ballina tomorrow afternoon as part of the national day of protest. The marches are follow ups to the major demonstration which took place in Dublin three weeks ago. In Castlebar the march, which is being organised by the Mayo Says No group, will see protesters meet at Market Square in the town, before marching around the county town. The Ballina protest march will meet at the Diamond’s Car Park on Bury Street at 1.30pm and will leave the car park at 2pm processing through the heart of the town.
The Ballina protest march is being organised by the newly established National Citizens Movement Mayo branch. Jamie Rooney from the NCM Mayo branch spoke to the Mayo Advertiser ahead of Saturday’s protest march.
He said that it was hard to put a figure on the number of people he expected to see on the streets of the north Mayo town tomorrow afternoon but the response had been good so far. “We’ve been busy covering the town over the past week with between 30 and 40 people out spreading the message. The most common reaction that we’ve got from people so far is that it’s about time that people in Mayo stood up to what’s been going on around them. I’d be confident that we would have between 800 and 1,000 people there on Saturday.”
Mr Rooney went on to say that this was an issue that he felt very passionately about and it was something that he saw as having finally got the people in the country standing together and saying enough is enough.
“It’s not even about paying for water, that’s something we already do through our taxes. This is about the very underhanded way this whole issue has been dealt with.
“People have seen it already in Dublin, with the huge amount of people who came out already to protest against Irish Water, there were five times as many people as anyone expected that day,” Mr Rooney added. “There has been a massive sea change, the people in Ireland have been apathetic, we are not the most vocal of people like the Greeks, Italians, or the Spanish, but what has been lumbered on top of us has been too much. People are finally tuning into the truth.”
The NPM was founded in Cork earlier this year with the aim of fighting Irish Water through the courts and to get accountability from the Government, Mr Rooney explained. He continued: “It’s by the people for the people and what more can people want.”