Protestors will meet at venues across Donegal this afternoon with Government parties keeping a close eye on developments hoping that capping charges for three years has taken the sting out of public ire.
There are protests today in Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Ballybofey/Stranorlar, Castlefinn and Gaoth Dobhair, ahead of national march in Dublin next weekend.
However we can reveal that they take place against a background of comments on Facebook and other social media outlets by people we have identified as being involved in some of the work installing meters.
“What a bunch of losers,” posted one worker on his Facebook account, attaching a photograph of residents.
A colleague replied: “Dumb-asses.”
Tracing these comments, we found other workers making similar comments.
“They need to realise they’re getting their f***ing meters and there’s f*** all they can do about it. Spongers, the lot of them,” wrote another worker.
A colleague replied: “Ha, noticed that; the only ones protesting are the layabouts, fit ’em better to get out a do a bit of work like the rest of us.”
Several other comments followed.
Today’s protests are being organised by the group Right2Water Donegal.
“We are giving the people of Donegal the opportunity to send a clear and unequivocal message to the Government that we want water charges abolished now,” said Cllr Gary Doherty from Donegal Right2Water.
Doherty has been leading protests against water meter installations in east Donegal in recent weeks.
The protest locations are designed to maximise the number of people coming out onto the streets – ahead of another ‘mass rally’ in Dublin next month.
Thousands of people are expected to take part.