Limerick Council to meet on water crisis

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water-tapA SPECIAL meeting of Limerick City and County Council has been scheduled for this Thursday after councillors called for an emergency discussion on water charges.

The move follows last Saturday’s anti-water charges march that saw thousands of people protesting on the streets of the city.

Sinn Féin councillor Maurice Quinlivan described the recent water protests in the city as an “opportunity to let our three local Government TDs Michael Noonan, Kieran O’Donnell and Jan O’Sullivan hear the message that water charges are a step too far”.

“People will not be silenced and many are being pushed into poverty by this charge,” warned the City North councillor.

“For many, it is not a case of won’t pay it is simply a case of can’t pay. For a great number of families it will come down to deciding between putting food on the table or paying for water charges,” he said.

“The people are now standing up and saying enough is enough. This unfair tax is happening at a time we have news that more that a quarter of children in this State are living in poverty. How many more children will be pushed over the poverty line as a result of their parents being forced to pay for water?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Limerick Fianna Fail TD, Niall Collins, said he joined the week-end protest “in support and solidarity with people who can’t afford to pay the charges and in total opposition to the new quango Irish Water”.

Calling for a suspension of all charges, he said that Irish Water was a gold plated, bonus driven super quango, top heavy with middle and senior management that was seeking to heap excessive water charges onto people.

The Limerick TD claimed the Government has “singularly failed to recognise that many families are now beyond stretching point financially and simply don’t have the money to pay these charges”.

“Inability to pay does not seem to feature in this Governments social conscience. What people want is a fair mechanism which allows them financial certainty and supply quality and Irish Water guarantees neither of these basic aims.

“The vast majority of people recognise that there is a cost associated with the supply of water, but the Irish Water model is not acceptable to them. They view it as a Government money making machine,” he concluded.