HUNDREDS of people vented their fury at the Government during a packed protest meeting in Newcastle West, as the ‘Citizens Against Charges’ group called for a “national movement” to fight against the “rail roading” of rural Ireland.
An estimated 400 people attended the meeting at the Ballintemple Inn, where angry speakers took aim at proposals in the Water Services Amendment Bill, which will require owners of once-off houses to pay €50 to register their septic tank with their local authority.
The new law, which is currently before the Oireachtas, has also been attacked for potentially leaving people open to repair bills of thousands of euro if their tank is found to be in breach of regulations.
Pat O’Donovan, chairman of ‘Citizens Against Charges’, said that the bill is in danger of creating a rural/urban split in Irish society, and called for “a national movement” to combat “the neglect of rural Ireland”.
Mattie McGrath TD of Tipperary South, a guest speaker, called for “fair play for rural Ireland”, while Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins urged those in attendance to “lobby your local elected members of Government parties” in protest.
Members of the public from West Limerick, North Kerry and beyond expressed their frustrations for over three hours.