Water Charges Protest in Balbriggan

November 10, 2014 0

A group of water charge protesters gathered outside the clinic of TD Brendan Ryan at the Combined Clubs Community Centre on Saturday 8th November.  The weather didn’t deter the protesters who stood in the lashing rain to show their objection to the water charges.  The group had a series of banners and further protests are being organised for 10th December in Dublin – full details at right2water.ie 

or you can visit the Balbriggan and surrounding areas Against Water Charges facebook page

Balbriggan.info contacted Brendan Ryan TD and here is what he had to say…

Brendan Ryan Labour TD

Brendan Ryan Labour TD

“I hold an advice clinic every Saturday morning at 11 am in the Combined Clubs Community Centre and have done so for over seven years. This is a busy service for the people of Balbriggan. I hold it this clinic in a rented room in the combined clubs. This is not my permanent office.

I turned up as usual at 10:45 for my clinic last Saturday and was met with a number of people gathered outside demonstrating against the water charges. I greeted people on my way into my clinic with many shaking my hand, and a minority refusing. I conducted the normal business of my advice clinic, meeting a number of local residents on a variety of issues.

About 10 minutes before I was due to leave I went out to the crowd and asked if any of them wished to come in and speak with me directly in my advice clinic room. Three people came in to discuss the water charges issue with me and spoke about their concerns regarding affordability and difficulties for people on fixed incomes. I was asked could I get rid of the water charges but I had to reply that that was not in my power. I left my clinic, and met a few people who had joined the demonstration whilst I was taking my clinic.

Whilst there was some name calling towards me by a minority of the demonstrators, the vast majority were cordial in their protest and it was quite peaceful. I recognise every individuals right to protest and especially when the protest is conducted in a fair manner. The only concern I have is that many people who visit me at my advice clinic can be in a vulnerable circumstance, some building up courage even to come down and present their problems to me. I would just worry that some people might be put off from attending my clinic, or indeed any other public representatives clinic, if they have to cross a demonstration. That said, I welcome the engagement I received on Saturday and I will continue to work in my capacity as a local TD to raise these valid concerns to Cabinet. ”