22 July 2022
By Tom Collins
Socialist Party TD Mick Barry this morning called on the Cork public and all who oppose the potential privatisation of water services to support tomorrow’s demonstration by Cork City Council and Cork County Council water workers.
The decision to call the demonstration (Grand Parade 1pm) was made last week at a mass meeting of water workers in the Rochestown Park Hotel after it was announced in late June that they are to be transferred over from the Councils’ to Irish Water on January 1st 2023.
The water workers and anti-water charges campaigners fear that Irish Water could be sold off to international investors in a recession scenario and that this will pave the way for a return to water charges.
Both the water workers and anti-water charges campaigners are demanding that the Government organise a referendum on keeping water in public ownership and that the original Service Level Agreement which stops the transfer of Council workers to Irish Water until 2026 be honoured.
Deputy Barry, who was a leading figure in the anti-water charges campaign, said this morning: “The Government need to name the date for a referendum on keeping water services in public ownership. Privatisation of water services would open a back door to water charges mark 2 – that’s a door that needs to be slammed shut. On the other hand, what is being done with these workers increases the possibilities for water privatisation. They are clearly taking a strong stand against the move and I would call on the Cork public and all who oppose the privatisation of water services to support their protest march this Saturday.”