That was the sentiment of the public meeting held last night in Donegal Town when asked for a show of hands by Independent councillor John Campbell whether people would pay the proposed levies.
Over 350 people attended the public meeting last night in the Central Hotel held by the Can’t pay Won’t pay group that has its origins in The Rosses and Gaoth Dobhair areas.
Flanked by TDs Thomas Pringle and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Cllr. Campbell outlined the group’s strategy of a boycott of both charges.
He reminded the audience that water charges had been defeated before in Dublin in the mid nineties by the will of the people and warned that it was not an easy course of action to follow, claiming,’ they will bully us an try and intimidate us, but if people stand together and support each other we will win out’
Local TD Pringle called on people to support to boycott and not to register for the septic tank charge or household charge saying it was the thin end of the wedge and that the charges would increase to over €1500 within a couple of years.
He commented, ‘people have an opportunity to show the government that they voted for change not for a continuation of the failed policies of Fianna Fail that Fine Gael/Labour are implementing’
Luke Ming Flanagan backed Deputy Pringle and the Can’t Pay Won’t Pay group, reiterating his opinion that the present government had lied to the people in February in order to get elected.
‘I’ve called them liars and I won’t withdraw it, it’s the truth,” he said.
He went on to draw on similarities between the present campaign and the plight of turfcutters in his area, which resonated with the crowd.
Cllr Campbell concluded with the message, ‘this boycott won’t be won by the TDs or by councillors like myself, it must come from the ground up.
He called on people to organise meetings in their own areas, housing estates, villages and townlands saying,’ together we’re strong and its with the support of your neighbours and friends that these unjust taxes will be defeated’
A spokesperson for the Group Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig addressed the meeting saying he was overwhelmed by the turnout in Donegal town and other areas all across the county in the last six weeks.
‘We have a meeting on Friday night in Ardara, next week in Downings, people are organising in Lifford, in Manor, Carrigart, Dungloe. We are getting requests from all over the county,” he said.