Protest against water meters in Dublin

Thursday 24 April 2014 21.40
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Workers have been installing water meters around the country
Workers have been installing water meters around the country
Frances Fitzgerald said good progress had been made on the installation of water meters
Frances Fitzgerald said good progress had been made on the installation of water meters

Up to 20 residents are protesting in Raheny in Dublin against the installation of water meters.

The protest in Watermill Drive started yesterday, when residents stopped workers from installing the meters in nearby houses.

The residents say that gardaí were present but they did not get involved.

The protest continued this morning.

At one stage the protesters stood on the road and blocked a van belonging to one of the workers. The driver had to reverse and take another route.

They say that they intend to continue their protest and extend it to other areas in Dublin.

Earlier, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said that the issue of water charges will be on the agenda when the Cabinet meets next week.

She said the Government would come to a decision on a range of issues.

Minister Fitzgerald said it was important that Irish Water was managed efficiently and she said that it would benefit every family in the country to have a water supply that is reliable.

Good progress had been made on the installation of water meters, she said, adding that the speed of installation had been increased over the past two months.

Bruton denies calling water charge a 'tax' 

Meanwhile, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has denied calling the incoming water charge a "tax" during a radio interview.

Speaking at an event in Co Westmeath today, he outlined the need for the water charge and insisted he did not want to get into semantics.

When asked had he branded the charge a tax in a Newstalk interview, he replied: "I haven't. Indeed, what I have said is it is always difficult to introduce any new tax or charge.

"This is a new charge on people it is difficult politically I recognise that.

"This is a really important charge that will provide a base for investing in a critical resource for our future.

"We have a water system that is leaking 40%, that is creaking at the edges, we need investment.

"We are here now setting up a commercial body that will allow us make that investment and secure this resource for the future of homeowners but also of business and employment for the future."