Anti-water charge protests take place around the country
Dublin - XINHUA
Despite the rain, over 120,000 people in Ireland on Saturday took part in anti-water charge protests across the country.
Right2Water, the national campaign to abolish domestic water charges, said Saturday's protests showed the strength of public opposition to water charges.
The organizers said that the time has come for the government "to accept the will of the people, abolish domestic water charges and return to the drawing board."
The organizers said numbers far exceeded those predicted and that almost 100 demonstrations were held in towns and cities nationwide.
In Dublin, huge crowds braved the weather to march through the city to show their opposition to the water charges. They carried a variety of banners and chanted various slogans.
Unofficial estimates put the crowd on Dublin's main thoroughfare O'Connell Street at up to 10,000.
In Cork, Ireland's second largest city, up to 10,000 protesters took to the streets.
In the west city of Ballina, over 1,000 people turned out, sending a clear message to Prime Minister Enda Kenny about the opposition in his constituency to water charges.
Tap water in Ireland until now has been free, but a new system of domestic water charges will be introduced in 2015 for homes that are connected to a public water supply or to public wastewater services.
Irish Water, the new national water services authority, will administer the charges.