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Water meter protests spread across city

Residents have staged a major protest meeting in Rowlagh Estate in Neilstown after being informed that the installation of water meters is expected to begin locally from early next month.

The protest came one week after residents in Lehenaghmore in Togher, Cork, prevented Irish Water contractors from gaining access to an estate to install meters.

Gardai were twice called to the Cork protests, though no arrests were made. Protests have also taken place in Galway and Limerick.

More than 40 Neilstown residents attended a special protest meeting in Rowlagh Estate, and locals are to liaise with other groups nationwide who have campaigned to block meter installations.

"It is absolutely unfair what is happening and we won't stand idly by and let these meters be put in," a Rowlagh Estate residents association member warned.

Irish Water said its meter installation programme is gathering pace nationwide, with almost 200,000 now installed.

The body also stressed that it "recognises the right to protest".

The first water bills are due to be issued in January, with Fine Gael attempting to defuse a row with Labour over the size of the annual standing charge involved.

Councillor Gino Kelly (People Before Profit) said anger over water charges is mounting fast.

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