Belfast Telegraph

Irish water charges: Tens of thousands bring Dublin to a halt in protest

Tens of thousands of protesters have descended on to the streets of Dublin for a mass demonstration against water charges.

Protesters were expected to travel from areas including Cork, Waterford, Glaway, Limerick and Sligo to attend.

Police appealed for those taking part to do so peacefully.

It comes as last month the Irish Government last month revised its plans for the introduction of domestic water charges.

They will see householders liable for charges of €160 for single adult homes and €260 for all other homes.

But water conservation grants of €100 a year mean the effective costs will be 60 and €160 respectively.

Originally the government had suggested the levy would be up to €600 a year for some families.

Bills will start dropping on doormats next April and are capped until the end of 2018, but if households don't register with Irish Water they'll receive an automatic bill of €260 per year.

Yesterday afternoon it was reported that missiles, mainly bottles, were being thrown at Gardai on Kildare street.

One man was arrested for what police described as a minor public order offence.

It is understood the incident took place at the bottom of Kildare Street, where some demonstrators were trying to gain access to the street but were refused entry by police.

It was also reported that a Garda was taken to hospital with facial injuries after he was hit by an object at the protest.

A heavy Gardai presence remained in the area.

The anti-water charge protest took place outside Leinster House in Kildare Street from 1pm.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams addressed the demonstration which was expected to last until 4pm.

AA Roadwatch warned parking restrictions were in place in the Merrion Square vicinity.

Meanwhile traffic came to a stand still

It's understood that approximately 1,000 protesters were situated on O'Connell Bridge and O'Connell Street.

Traffic on Dublin's south quays was reported to be at a virtual standstill.

Gardai were at the scene as the crowd chanted "No way, we won't pay".

However the majority of the anti-water charges protesters are located at peaceful demonstration outside government buildings on Merrion Square.

However, a number of protesters relocated to O'Connell Bridge and O'Connell Street, both major traffic arteries within the city.

A smaller group is also at the junction of O'Connell Street and Abbey Street - ensuring that the Luas Red Line has been locked.

Dozens of buses are lined up on both sides of the quays, and there has been at least one minor collision.

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