The Gardaí have told reporters that they will need to recuperate the losses incurred during the mass protest outside the Dáil this afternoon by adding the deficit to home-owners’ water bills in the New Year. The water cannons, which are on loan from the PSNI in Northern Ireland for the day, were used after the protesters against water charges became too reasonable.
Estimates vary on how many people showed up for the protests today. RTÉ have tallied the total around three or four people, while organisers for the protest estimate that at least 1.5 million people showed up outside the steps of the Dáil. Sometime between 2:00 and 2:30 PM, the Gardaí ordered the use of the cannons in an attempt to qualm a chanting crowd that were peacefully protesting.
A spokesperson for the Gardaí said that the meters showed that ‘at least €35,000 worth of water’ was used by the cannons to control the crowd. The spokesperson went on further to say, “The crowds were given multiple warnings and we had no alternative but to use non-lethal force to ensure the safety of our officers and that of the crowd.”
“I know that €35,000 sounds like a lot, but spread over the 200 hundred people protesting, it will hardly be noticed on their water bill in the New Year.”
The Garda spokesperson failed to respond to a question by Oxygen.ie that the Dublin Garda Christmas dinner will cost around €35,000.
In an unrelated note, the owner Copper Face Jacks said it was a good day for business and they welcome having a few of the Gardaí in their club this Saturday night in an effort to reward their work today.