Solidarity party TD Mick Barry spoke to party members and supporters at the Imperial Hotel last night, ahead of Jobstown trials.
Re-branding Anti Austerity Alliance
The public meeting in which Cllr. Kieran Mahon was a speaker as well was focused on the party’s reactions to Jobstown trials and the controversial issue of water charges.
TD Mick Barry started the meeting by explaining the reason behind his party’s recent name change from Anti Austerity Alliance to Solidarity. “We changed our name to Solidarity. The reason for that is that we want a name which doesn’t just refer to economic issues but refers to a broad range of the campaigns that we are engaged in. In other words, not just the water charges and the campaign for pay- justice but the campaign for the repeal of the 8th amendment and abortion rights for women in Ireland,” said the Solidarity TD.
Fine Fail and Fine Gael to Blame for Water Charges Abolition Postponement
As it was expected the water charges was the focal point of the meeting. TD Barry informed the audience about the actions that has been taken in the Dail regarding the issue. “The water committee that’s been established in the Dail has postponed its decision until April the 14th. Blaming Ireland’s two major parties Fine Fail and Fine Gael TD for the postponement TD Barry went on to say:” They have joined forces and have engineered a majority for the postponement. Our representative on the Committee (TD Paul Murphy) has opposed their decision.” The TD refers to a decision that can abolish water charges once and for all.
More Positions than the Kamasutra!
TD Barry praised people’s protests against water charges and counted that as the main reason behind the potential abolition of the proposed law. He described the movement against water charges something more than that the raised issue. “ Enda Kenny was right when he said it was not just about water. It was about drawing a line in the sand and saying : no more austerity for working people,” said the solidarity TD.
TD Barry was quick to speak of his party’s distrust in Fine Fail and Fine Gael. “ They are trying to pose as the champion of working people and campaign for the abolishing of water charges. But we remember full well that very first party to raise the idea of charging households for water in 2010 was the Fine Fail party. They deny it but the facts refute their denial. “According to TD Barry the Irish Examiner has gained accesses to cabinet papers which prove that Fine Fail ministers proposed a law that would charge households at a rate of 500 Euros for water, but they’ve changed their positions many times on the issue as the protests broke out in the country.
TD Barry quoted one of his colleagues in the Dail that has jokingly said to Fine Fail members that “they had more positions on the issue than the kamasutra!” He described the main danger of the issue the so-called “ Excessive use charge” . He said that his party believes that “ there must be no charge whatsoever for water.”
After TD Barry’s speech Cllr. Kieran Mahon spoke to people and invited them to participate in the “ Jobstown is not Guilty” rally that takes place in Dublin’s Liberty Hall on the first day of April.
In October 2016, a 17-year-old boy was found guilty of falsely imprisoning Joan Burton and her adviser back in November 2014 while protesting against water charges in Jobstown. The then 15- year-old boy blocked them from leaving a graduation ceremony in Jobstown in Dublin by standing in the way of two Garda cars.
Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six others are set to stand trial on April 24, with further trials to take place in June and April 2018.