‘Optimistic’ agreement

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Speaking about an agreement between other groups and MBC Builders, Right2Water Donegal and Inishowen Against Water Charges said: “In a few other areas throughout the country, agreements such as these have been made with varying degrees of success”.

They added: “When we received the offer of a meeting, we in Right2Water Donegal and Inishowen Against Water Charges acknowledged the offer, however, we pointed out that no installation of water meters was taking place as the water metering programme in Donegal was suspended. We will continue to support every group in the campaign and acknowledge that they must campaign in the way they decide. The question does now need to be asked as to why anyone would sign a document effectively giving licence for metering to restart in the county.”

The groups added they “always try to activate as many people” as possible in water charges movement in the county and said they felt it would be “inappropriate” to attend any meetings “without at least seeking a mandate from the communities first.”

They also asked householders not to become “complacent” and “rely on signs on windows alone to deter installers.

The groups who entered into the agreement said it was based on a similar one elsewhere in the country, which was successful. They added that for some time now campaign groups “have been calling for a sensible approach such as this to the water meter controversy, adding they had repeatedly contacted Irish Water, GMC Sierra and An Garda Siochána “to try to set up such an agreement.” They said all “protest groups and Inishowen people” should give the agreement a fair chance.