Ireland’s Grass-Roots Protests Light a Fire Irish Water Can’t Put Out


A time Lapse video of the Irish Water march.

In the past several months we have seen the actions of a few inspire the many. With individual neighbourhoods, often only a few families, coming together to battle back against new water meter instillations. Often happening right out front of their homes, these small acts of peaceful civil disobedience have been the catalyst for the next neighbourhood and the next to do the same. In what now has grown from individual communities, to a few 1000 demonstrating on Sept. 20th, into a nationwide movement drawing 100’s of thousands to the street.

The huge protests are over a proposed specific tax just for water. There were massive protests against water charges in 1996 and the Government scrapped charges and instead put 5 % on to car tax and 2% vat to cover this cost. If the measure is successful, it would cost the people of Ireland the equivalent of several hundred U.S. dollars a year per household, an amount that many say they simply cannot afford. The new water tax would start at the beginning of 2015.

Although the gardaí would not confirm the numbers of the protest, stating that they would not be making an estimate, many who attended the days events and the anit-war protest that drew 150,000 or more in 2003, described the Irish Water march as even larger, putting estimates around 200,000.

Speaking to, South Dublin County Councillor Gino Kenny said that he had not seen such a large crowd at a protest since 2003 when people marched against the war in Iraq.

“The atmosphere great today, so many people have taken part from all over the country. This is just the start of a much larger campaign. We mustn’t lose momentum, this is when people need to stand together,” he said, adding that the numbers that turned up today are an indication that the “government are in big trouble”.


The march, which started at the Garden of Remembrance, took protesters down O’Connell Street to the Dáil, before turning back and settling at the GPO to hear speeches. The march against Irish Water was so long that the front of the march passed the rear part of the march at college green.


v Joanne Pender

Another protest is planned for November 1st, just ahead of a vote on the Ireland water tax referendum. Click on the image below for an interactive map showing the groups and the Facebook event page links from all over the country fighting back against #IrishWater

A great documentary chronicling the crisis facing Ireland today.

Anonymous message to the Republic of Ireland. Truth behind #IrishWater charges #OpIreland


Several hundred people showed up at Clondalkin for a protest 2 days before the big march with many burning their water meter packs.

About Author

Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News - Contact us with inquiries, tips, corrections at -