Bray People - - FRONT PAGE -

THERE has been quite a bit of ten­sion in the Gar­den Vil­lage es­tate in Kilped­der over the past cou­ple of days as res­i­dents have at­tempted to block rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Ir­ish Wa­ter from in­stalling wa­ter me­ters to their homes.

Res­i­dents have been very crit­i­cal of gar­daí who they have ac­cused of be­ing ‘ heavy handed’ in at­tempt­ing to dis­perse their protest and who they have said are ‘act­ing like a pri­vate se­cu­rity firm for Ir­ish wa­ter’.

The Ir­ish Wa­ter crews ar­rived on Mon­day morn­ing to be­gin in­stal­la­tion work and things quickly turned sour.

‘ Things got pretty bad on Mon­day morn­ing,’ said one res­i­dent.

‘ The gar­daí were called and there was quite a bit of ag­gro.’

The res­i­dent said there was ‘a lot of man­han­dling go­ing on’ and claimed that one el­derly man with a walk­ing stick was frog marched up the road.

‘ There are videos on­line of all this hap­pen­ing and I think it was ex­ces­sive and heavy handed,’ said the res­i­dent.

Bray gar­daí re­sponded by say­ing ‘We po­lice all peace­ful protests that re­main within the law. When the law is bro­ken, pre­vent­ing ve­hic­u­lar ac­cess for ex­am­ple, we are duty bound to in­ter­vene. How­ever, we do make ev­ery at­tempt to avoid any con­fronta­tion with lo­cal peo­ple dur­ing such protests.’

The res­i­dents of Gar­den Vil­lage feel very strongly about wa­ter me­ters be­ing in­stalled and have said they will con­tinue to protest and block Ir­ish Wa­ter from car­ry­ing out their work. The crews ar­rived once again yes­ter­day morn­ing and man­aged to in­stall ‘five or six’ me­ters, be­fore they were once again halted.

Ir­ish Wa­ter were due to re­turn to Gar­den Vil­lage again to­day ( Wed­nes­day) and res­i­dents once again planned to meet them head on.

‘I’ve never seen any­thing like it be­fore,’ said one res­i­dent.

‘Protests are so lo­calised and the com­mu­nity are all to­gether in op­po­si­tion.’

pro­test­ers in the Gar­den Vil­lage, Kilped­der.

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