ANYONE who thought the weather would dampen protests against water charges couldn’t have been more wrong – tens of thousands of people travelled to Dublin for today’s protest.
And they were led by hundreds of protestors from Donegal who left for the capital at dawn.
Gardaí say they will not be estimating the size of the crowd – but trade unionists believe it could be over 80,000.
“It is a phenomenal turn-out,” said Cllr Gary Doherty, a spokesman for Right2Water Donegal.
Some protesters said the demonstration is not just about water charges but about all the austerity measures that have been introduced over the past five years.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has told the crowd that the protest is “real democracy, people power”.
Mr Adams commended the protesters for forcing the Government into a partial U turn.
He said the Government had to be told this is not good enough and that the Government will have to scrap water charges and Irish Water.
Indepdendent TD Clare Daly told the crowd they were part of history and can tell their children and grandchildren that they helped to change Ireland.
She added: “The great are whimpering and cowering behind those walls and are looking pretty shook. Because we are off our knees and saying no more.”
The massive turn-out on a Wednesday – around 20,000 less than the last march at a weekend – is being hailed a success by those opposed to water charges.
Fifteen bus loads of people from Donegal travelled to the march; with many more travelling by service buses and cars.
Organisers said the protest was family-friendly.
A line of Gardai prevented some protestors entering Kildare Street.
Earlier Health Minister Leo Varadkar dismissed the protest, saying one million people had already signed up with Irish Water to pay charges.