Following on from numerous other public meetings which have been held across County Donegal in opposition to the governments household, septic tank and water charges, a number of island residents including Jerry Early and Hugh Rodgers have decided to hold a public meeting on the island.
The meeting takes place on Saturday 21st January to inform other islanders of the impending taxes and how they can protest against the governments plans.
They also will have speakers at the event including independent TD Thomas Pringle and Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, spokesperson from the ‘Can’t Pay! Won’t Pay!’ campaign which is supporting the island meeting.
Giving his reasons for holding the meeting on Arranmore, islander Jerry Early explained how he had discussed the issue with other people from the island which prompted him to take action.
“It was clear that speaking to various other people who live on the island that there was widespread anger and opposition to the household tax and the other planned charges” Mr Early said.
“Seeing that there were communities organising all across County Donegal we thought that it was time we organised ourselves also on the island to speak out against these unfair taxes which the government plan to impose upon us.
“The thinking of a lot of people on the island who I have discussed the matter with is that the household, septic tank and water charges are grossly unfair and many feel that it is no more than a cover for the governments real plan of getting the ordinary people to pay off the debts amassed by reckless bankers and other corrupt individuals, and the people just will not, and in my opinion should not, stand for it.
“The government has allowed many decisions to be made in the past which have massively impacted our community causing unemployment and emigration, such as the fishing quotas and bans and we had no say in the matter. We could not fight the the fishing bans but we can fight this.”
Saying how the taxes would have a huge effect on island households, Mr Early stated “These taxes and charges will hammer already struggling families on our island, as I’m sure they will across the country. The household charge of €100 is a lot of money to a family who already have trouble putting food on the table.
“These are issues which many people on the island feel sore about and this is why we have decided to hold this public meeting so that the community can air their views. This meeting is community based and not in any way aligned to any political party. It is open to all so I hope everyone on the island does their best to attend, for if we stand together as a community we will have a better chance of opposing these unfair taxes.”
The Arranmore meeting will be held on Saturday 21st January at 8pm in the Factory Hall and all are welcome to attend. For more information you can contact Jerry Early on 0878054246