Upcoming Events

National | Environment

no events match your query!

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link Officials and Provisionals Sat Apr 01, 2017 22:54 | James O'Brien

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Michael Clifford and the dark evils of Social Media

offsite link RTE presenter accidentally tells the truth Anthony

offsite link Orwell’s 1984 arrives in 2018 Ireland Anthony

offsite link Elaine Byrne: Not speaking full truth to power Anthony

offsite link Israel/Ireland: Corruption comparison Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Trump ? the De-Globalizer? Mon Jul 23, 2018 00:21 | The Saker
by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog Looks like Trump is running amok with his ?trading policies?. Not only has he upset the European Union ? which doesn?t deserve any

offsite link Iran?s Basij: Reconstructing society via class warfare Sun Jul 22, 2018 16:01 | The Saker
by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog In this 11-part series, which began as a response to the World Socialist Web Site?s 3-part series against my views of Iran and

offsite link Why Poroshenko Will Escalate the Situation in Ukraine Sun Jul 22, 2018 00:39 | The Saker
By Rostislav Ishchenko Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/ishchenko-... source: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20180719/1... When Petro Poroshenko unexpectedly became the president of Ukraine, he had two paths? The

offsite link Latvians recall better Soviet times, by Ruslan Ostashko Sat Jul 21, 2018 17:27 | Scott
The myth of the” Soviet occupation” began to show cracks at the moment when Euro-integration has depopulated Latvia by half. And it?s not even ethnic Russians who are eager to

offsite link Syrian War Report ? July 20, 2018: Militants In Western Quneitra Fully Surrender To Syrian Army Sat Jul 21, 2018 01:31 | Scott
https://southfront.org/syrian-war-rep... If you?re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn?t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfro... BTC: 13iYp9CDYZwgSnFXNtpEKgRRqaoxHPr2... BCH: 1NE49pQW8yCegnFCMvKuhLUnuxvTnxNUhf, E... The

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
News on Human Rights

offsite link Maldives Remain UK Priority Thu Jul 19, 2018 13:09 | Human Rights

offsite link US Withdraw From UN Human Rights Council Thu Jul 19, 2018 13:06 | Human Rights

offsite link Returning Refugees Greece Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:56 | Human Rights

offsite link Australia Immigrants English Speaking Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:54 | Human Rights

offsite link Border Security Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:48 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Water Charges in Ireland

category national | environment | opinion/analysis author Monday September 14, 2015 18:34author by Shane J. Cassidy Report this post to the editors

Water Charges in Ireland

The ongoing Irish water crisis has seen the emergence of a sustained mass movement of people, protesting the imposition of these punitive charges.


If you were to look through Irelands history, you would see that the country and its people have experienced many different phases of domination and power. For hundreds of years Ireland was a small island colony under the control of the British empire consisting primarily of a rural-based population . The extent of centuries of oppression and victimhood inevitably left a mark on the consciousness of normal Irish people everywhere and as our language and culture was oppressed and destroyed, small pockets of resistance groups formed all over the island. Bogside classrooms and masses held on the sides of mountains are just some of the actions which were testament to fortitude of ordinary people everywhere refusing to surrender.

In 1921, having managed to finally overthrow the rule of the British on this island, through a bloody Civil War where many lives were lost, the future direction of this budding new State became very closely aligned with the the extremely influential and powerful clergy and the Catholic Church. Through fear, intimidation and the manipulating of people’s honest religious convictions, the Church was able to wield frightening levels of influence over the presiding governments of time with whom very warm relations were maintained. The Church acted with practical immunity for almost 70 years until revelations of rape and sexual assault on children under their care, along with steady investment from the EU since the 1970’s, began a fall from their lofty position of which they are still feeling the effects.

By the 1990’s, after decades of being one of Europe’s poorest nations, Ireland experienced a booming economy, known as the Celtic Tiger, which came to signify huge financial and property expansion throughout the country. Property developers and bankers were elevated into an almost priest-like position in Irish society where property speculation and risky lending was actively encouraged. The standard of living within the country rose sharply and Ireland became a huge success story around the world and the Irish government often hosted visiting diplomats from various countries who had come to study the miracle of the Irish economy. Irish ex-pats, who had emigrated to other parts of the world during the disastrous economic crash of the 1980’s, began to return home, bringing with them experiences and lessons learned from far flung places around the world. In a very short space of time, thanks largely to the influx of various different nationalities and Ireland’s hugely generous tax breaks which are afforded to private foreign corporations to establish here, Ireland transformed into a diverse and multicultural country. Sweeping social changes occurred during this period with homosexuality becoming decriminalised in 1993 followed by the legalisation of divorce in 1995.

However, by 2008 and with the onslaught of the global recession, it became clear that Ireland’s miracle economy had been based on unsteady foundations and the crash of the property bubble led to many people losing their jobs, their homes and hundreds of thousands of Irish people were forced into the same positon as their generation before them in the 1980’s and they had to emigrate around the world in search of opportunity. The Irish government, without proper foresight or consideration for the sustainable future of Irish people, made a decision to guarantee the debts which the banks had created. The Irish people were forced to assume the debts of banks and private bond holders and a system of punishing economic and social measures called ‘austerity’. These terms were dictated to the Irish people by the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank ( these 3 groups known collectively as the ‘Troika’).

As Irish people, we have always had to face a new power, be it the British Empire, the Catholic Church, the banks and now the Troika. Traditionally, perhaps as a result of our colonised background, we can tend to be slow to speak up but we know right from wrong. We can see there are injustices but we can often feel alone or disempowered or feel that others may not share our views. If you examine Irish history since the creation of this State, you will see that there has never been a tradition of serious, democratic, and sustained protests on the streets of this country as you would expect to see in other countries such as France or Greece.

However, that too is changing. For the first time since the creation of the State, people have finally said enough is enough. Without any attempts made to ask the people of Ireland what they would like to do with one of the most precious resources we have, the government announced that they were introducing charges for water. Since 2008, ordinary people have suffered greatly through these economic sanctions and finally the Irish State is witnessing a new phenomenon. People from all over the country have united around this issue and hundreds of thousands are simply refusing to even register to pay the charge. Others were imprisoned for protesting the installation of a water meter outside their homes. The company which was hired to install the water meters is owned by the same man who owns the Irish Water company, Denis O’Brien. On top of these considerable business interests, he also controls a large share of the Irish media where engaged and thoughtful discussion about these charges and the protests is completely absent.

These charges can be defeated. People in Ireland already pay €1.2 billion per year in taxes for our water. We are practical and reasonable. We understand that we need to treat water in order for it to be clean and healthy. We also wouldn’t ever want to see someone in this country have their water turned off if they didn’t pay their bill. We live in a country where water is plentiful and yet they want us to hand over our natural resource to a company owned by a private business man. Where are his interests ultimately going to lie with our water? The water belongs to the people of Ireland and we should be very slow to hand it over because once it is gone, it is very hard to get back. So far, Irish Water’s attempt to get everyone to pay has been a total failure. The best form of protest which we can engage in is refusal to pay.

In 2015, within 22 years of Ireland decriminalising homosexuality, the Irish people voted in a referendum to allow marriages between a gay couple to be recognised as exactly the same as a heterosexual couple. When the people of this country are given a voice – we have the power to do good and we must refuse to listen to the scare mongers who attempt to convince us that we should surrender our water to private interests. The wheel is turning and if history has taught us anything, it’s that – sooner or later, we will prevail.

Related Link: https://lasraicesocultas.wordpress.com/2015/09/14/water...land/
author by newsmediapublication date Tue Sep 15, 2015 17:28Report this post to the editors

For those who look: Ireland is the ONLY EU member state that has an EU directive on water:
see http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/why-the-irish-governm...09288

author by Tom Bestpublication date Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:04Report this post to the editors

I have been visiting Indymedia Ireland for several years and I am disappointed that so few readers have been posting their comments on the different threads during the last year or so. The case of Irish Water is a matter in point. When an economic conservative like Shane Ross TD starts talking about middle class disobedience in relation to the water charges, as in the Sunday Independent dated 20 September, it comes as a surprise that relatively few comments have appeared on Indymedia. Have Indymedia visitors become dumb? Have readers defected to other radical sites? I'd like some sort of internal audit and some kind of candid reader/visitor feedback. Best of luck to this site, which continues to invite news and article submissions on a wide array of social and cultural concerns.

 
© 2001-2018 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy