On a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon this March tens of thousands of protesters descended on the streets of Dublin all in the name of ‘water’. The demonstration, organised by the Right2Water campaign, was part of a wider movement in opposition to the recent introduction of water charges here in Ireland.
Dominating the headlines for many months now, the introduction of domestic water charges has been more controversial than any other political decision since the collapse of the Irish economy in 2008.
Never before in my lifetime has a subject incited such mass, persistent political action on the streets of our towns and cities.
For the first time ever, many of us were forced to consider the value and cost of water; propelling a deeper reflection on what the ‘human right to water’ means and what responsibility we owe, if any, to those who provide us with a safe, clean, domestic supply of water.