Thursday, March 29, 2012

Parish priest rips up copy of household charge

A parish priest rallied protesters when he ripped up a copy of the household charge last Sunday.

Fr Brian O’Fearragh was one of a number of protesters who tore up the document during a rally in Donegal at the weekend.

Almost 2,000 people cheered as the Gweedore priest and others, including Donegal South West Independent TD Thomas Pringle declared they were not paying the €100 charge.

Fr O’Fearragh told protesters in Letterkenny he will never pay the charge. And he warned Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan that it was time for him to "perform or perish".

"I feel that our unity here today is sending a clear message to Minister Hogan, and that message is: Minister Hogan, now is the time to perform or perish, the choice is yours.

"By perform, I mean: please listen and pay heed to the will and the actions of the vast majority of people of this country, who have not and, by the looks of it, will not sign up and register or subscribe and to these highly unpopular and regressive stealth charges.

"Pay heed and rescind these unjust charges, which are nothing short of a heavy imposition upon the people whom you serve.

"By perish, I mean, now is the time to repeal these unjust charges, or failing such, come next election, face the wrath of the Irish people," he said.

The march, attended by many from surrounding counties Leitrim, Cavan and Sligo, was organised by the local Can’t Pay Won’t Pay group.

Householders and individuals are being penalised by these "harsh austerity measures", said Fr O’Fearragh.

"While greedy and reckless and faceless bondholders are being rewarded ... homeowners and individuals citizens of this state are being brought to their knees and deprived, and that is wrong."