Major protests planned for Buncrana this weekend

Donegal North East Deputy, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has confirmed details of a protest planned in Buncrana against the government’s austerity budget which will be published in a number of weeks. The protest which will take place at 3pm on Saturday at the Market Sq,

Fianna Fail has also organised a public meeting for Friday night in the Inishowen town to protest about the introduction of septic tank charges.

Outlining the reasons for Saturday’s protest, Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “The government is planning a budget which will be even more severe than those published by the last administration. At a time when so many people face extreme financial difficulty, the thought of further cuts has caused great apprehension among the Irish public.

“Septic tank charges, household charges and the USC along with cuts to social welfare, family allowance and students grants are more than people can take. Enough is enough.

“I would ask anyone who is fed up with government policy targeting those who can least afford it to come out and join us on Saturday 3rd. This protest is not confined to Sinn Féin activists and is open to the wider public. Come join us and have you voice heard.”

Fianna Fáil will hold a public meeting on Friday night to discuss the Government’s proposal to hit septic tank owners with multiple charges. The Environment Minister’s controversial Septic Tank Bill is now at Committee Stage in the Seanad and Fianna Fáil has proposed radical to the legislation to make it much fairer on rural dwellers.

Fianna Fail TD Charlie McConalogue said: “Fianna Fáil is totally opposed to the Government’s Septic Tank Bill in its current form as it totally penalises rural dwellers.

I have been working closely with my colleagues in Donegal County Council along with Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill on this issue. Fianna Fáil will be introducing 75 amendments to the Septic Tank Bill

“There are more than 400,000 septic tank owners across the country who are facing potentially enormous bills under Minister Hogan’s legislation. Many of them could end up forking out up to €17,000 for upgrade works, on top of registration fees and the cost of any appeals they wish to lodge. For example, a new septic tank and percolation area could cost up to €4,000, while technically advanced packaged treatments can cost up to €12,000 with additional installation costs of €5,000,”

Rosaleen Campbell, Chairperson of the Fianna Fáil Comhairle Ceantair in Inishowen said, “While the meeting is organised by the Fianna Fáil organisation it is open to anyone who wishes to ask questions or air their views on the Septic Tank Bill. I would encourage all septic tank owners living in the area to come along to the meeting at 8pm in the Lake of Shadows Hotel, Buncrana.”