ANTI water charge campaigners in Co Kildare are to step up their campaign and plan to start removing water meters around the county.
This stepping up of the campaign coincides with the issuing of water bills according to The Free Water Tap Kildare spokesman Eamon Broughan.
“This group is made up of members from other groups around County Kildare who are planning to step up the water charges protests. We are under the right2water umbrella and we are stepping up the campaign to coincide with the issuing of bills and we are calling for a mass non payment of the charge.,” he said.
The proposal to remove water meters is one which has been considered before, according to Mr Broughan. “We thought about it before and when I put it up on Facebook I got an overwhelming response. If we had done it at the time I would have been taking out water meter faster than Irish Water were putting them in. If people contact us through our The Free Tap Kildare Facebook page to remove their meter we will get in contact with them. We will private message people and ask them if they will come with us when we go to Kildare Co Council to hand in the meters to be collected by Irish Water.”
Mr Broughan admitted that he has no authority to remove the meters but he went on to add; “It’s a bit like stopping traffic during a protest, it’s an act of civil disobedience. We will not be doing this at night, we will be very open about what we are doing.”
Mr Broughan said there will be no attempts made to remove water meters at the request of a tenant, unless the permission of the home owner has been given.
“We don’t want tenants contacting us unless they have the permission of the home owner to have the meter removed.”
The anti charges campaign is also organising a tap push throughout the county to raise awareness of the campaign.
A large tap, which was created for the St Patrick’s Day parade in Athy will be the focal poinht,
“We will start in Enfield and Kilcock and make our way to Maynooth, Leixlip, Cellbridge, Clane, Sallins, Naas, Newbridge and Kildare. We will stop there and then head over to Kilcullen and make our way from there to Athy. We are planning the tap push for next week and our message to people is that there is nothing to be afraid of and nothing will happen to you if you don’t pay,” said Mr Broughan.
“There are obviously towns and villages which we will miss on this route and our plan is to go to each of these towns and villages over the following weeks on Saturdays and to meet people and hand out leaflets encouraging people not to pay.”
These plans were announced in advance of a meeting of the Free Water Tap Kildare group which was held at the Town House Hotel in Naas last night (Monday).