Irish Republican News · September 25, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Dublin bin tax row spreads

The bin tax dispute is set to spread across county Dublin, with Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council due to also stop collecting bins from householders who have not paid waste charges.

The row over the new charges for waste collection has galvanised swathes of Dubliners into protest. Anger is building at a government which keeps piling the pressure on small household budgets without delivering basic infrastructure or amenities.

Nine protestors escaped jail on a technicality on Wednesday.

The High Court dismissed Fingal County Council's application to have the group jailed for breaching court orders relating to the obstruction of waste collection.

Mr Justice Herbert said there was doubt as to whether each of these people knew they were in breach of court orders.

He expressed concerns about the order made by another High Court judge last Friday directing the Gardai to arrest anyone obstructing waste collection in Fingal.

Dublin City Council asked the court for a general order for the Gardai to arrest anyone involved in obstructing its waste collection, but the court refused to grant this order.

The protests are now entering their third week, and the anti-waste charge campaigners say they will continue, despite the arrests.

Thirteen Dubliners have so far been arrested for peacefully protesting against bin charges. Another eight who blocked bin lorries on Wednesday morning have also been threatened with jail.

Two elected representatives -- Joe Higgins TD and Cllr. Clare Daly of the Socialist Party -- remain in jail after receiving a month sentence for their part in blocking a bin lorry.

But the severe sentence handed down to Higgins and Daly only provoked further protests.

There were signs of a potential climbdown by Environment minister Martin Cullen after he said he planned to bring in a refuse charging structure that rewarded people who produced less waste.

By doing so, the minister has effectively admitted that the current refuse charges in Dublin, which do not take account of either ability to pay or the amount of waste presented, are unfair.

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© 2003 Irish Republican News