Irish Water were thanked for “finally uniting the people of Ireland” by a speaker at an anti-water charges protest march in Ballyshannon on Saturday afternoon.
By Michael Daly
At least 3,500 to 4,000 people attended the march which took 50 minutes to make its way through the streets of the south Donegal town.
Eugene McGovern, Ballyshannon, told marchers “don’t fall for dirty tricks” adding that they didn’t want concessions, they wanted an end to Irish Water. McGovern, ending the speeches outside a local theatre, said Irish Water had done one good thing, they had “finally” brought the people of the country together behind a common cause.
Amanda Byrne, who described herself as a mother and a taxpayer, told marchers: “The tide is turning. The Government are backtracking because of people power”.
Carrying placards with messages such as ‘Not a penny Enda Kenny’ and chanting slogans such as ‘From the water to the sea, Irish water will be free’, the marchers came mainly from south Donegal, north Leitrim and north Sligo.
Organisers of the Right2Water protest had hoped for a turnout of 2,000 and said they were delighted that this was almost doubled.
Many local politicians were among the marchers but none were asked to speak as the organisers were keen that the event would not become a political platform for any or several political parties.
Gardaí operating traffic control confirmed to the Donegal Democrat that the attendance was approximately 3,500 to 4,000 people.