Sinn Fein has said that it is not disappointed with the numbers who took part in a Nenagh & District Against Unjust Water Charges anti-water protest in Nenagh last Saturday.
The march attracted less than 200 demonstrators, with one Nenagh trader saying he counted 189 people march past his town centre premises. Local gardai also put the figure at around 200 as did other independent observers, including Sen Gerard Craughwell. However, Sinn Fein said around 400 took part.
Sinn Fein Tipperary said in a statement that they were not disappointed with the numbers taking part.
“At a human level, organisers might always be a little disappointed with anything less than a turnout so stunningly large enough as to steal headlines by itself. But as realists, they also understand that the role of the protest march is often as much about morale both for participants and potential participants as anything else. There is a surprisingly social aspect to protest rallies that reassures rather than disappoints. Saturday is no exception in that regard,” they said in a statement
The party stated that the bulk of the protest was now off-street and was manifesting itself in the massive non-registration and non-payment by many hundreds of thousands of ordinary people.
“It is a silent but determined opposition that realises that the countdown to the destruction of Uisce Éireann has already started, and in the patience of the voters waiting to remove from office the responsible Minister based in Tipperary. What was visible on Saturday was just the tip of an iceberg of seething resentment of injustice and inequality, as typified by the creation and imposition of Irish Water.
“The protest was less about a show of strength, and more about maintaining a presence in public consciousness.
“If there is any disappointment, it will be on the part of the Government and Minster Kelly, both of whom hoped the issue would arise no more. They are now reminded that the water tax remains a live issue, which they must face into at election time,” said the spokesperson.