The Secret Tradesman and the right to water protest
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The Secret Tradesman and the right to water protest

"I'm not sure I'm at the right pay grade to tell you either way" I go.

This fella's been rooting around the site for a while and finally plucked up the courage to ask for some old timber that's been lying around the site. He is definitely a bit suss - we were actually planning on getting Tomasz, who is some sort of polish weight lifting champion, to go down and put the frighteners up him before he actually strolled up to ask us about it. We even had Tomasz coached on how to say 'what's the bleedin story..'. seriously funny in a Polish accent by the way.

"What are they for anyway?" I ask. I'm sorry I did now.

"We need them for the right 2 water protest " he goes, ' we're gonna make placards to blast the feicin government right outta it."

I couldn't lie, if Cheryl cole-Fernandez-whatever walked onto the site handing out free brekkie rolls at that moment, she'd have had to queue behind this fella. He's suddenly mobbed with lads making all sorts of offers and slapping him on the back. To be fair to us, it's been a topic of conversation recently and we're doing feic all while we wait on a load of cement.

Yer man, Bernie was his name, ends up leaving the site with a load of pre-built placards. I've knocked together a fair few using some 4 x 4's and a big piece of board that I nail across the top of each to display their slogans. Nice work, but I'm definitely biased.

A while later the foreman comes us to us looking for some volunteers.

"Lads, can a couple of you snoop around for some of that advertising signage board for the launch? The boss has been on and we need to hang it out front to start generating a bit of demand. I could have sworn I saw it earlier, but don't know where it is now".

There's silence. We're all buddies, so to be fair everybody stays quiet as to where the stuff has actually gone. We can definitely sweat this one out.

We're in the boozer celebrating a good week's work. Damo is spouting on something mental. He's sound but thinks he should be on Mastermind. We even caught him reading the Irish Times the other week.

"All I'm saying lads is that its basic supply and demand. If the government had just spent some time reflecting on recent global trends, this housing crisis could have been avoided...."

I get a tap on the shoulder and look over at Jimmy. He's staring at the telly above the bar and, from the look on his mug, I know it can't be good.

"...the right to water protest started out peacefully" goes Sharon Tobin on the news. Pretty nice, by the way. "But it took an unexpected turn for the worse when an unidentified element stormed the stage during the minister's address"

We're transfixed as the footage pans to Bernie and a few other heavies legging it towards the stage. They're swinging big placards around like war hammers or something and causing absolute carnage. The placards are holding up well to be fair, I told you I did good work. I catch the slogan on one of them - "Wife, if you see this on TV, I'm gonna need bail"- to be fair, these fellas mean business.

"Three Garda were injured during the protest " Sharon goes.

RTE doesn't hold any punches, as this is being said we see Three Gardai go down, while two of the protesters get truncheoned to the ground. Most of the marchers are running away now across Merrion square, but one of them is mounting the stage with his placard. It's Bernie. The Minster is surrounded by bodies but Bernie doesn't seem bothered. The placard is big enough for all of them.

"The minister sustained a severe concussion but is doing well". It's probably for the best that they didn't show the actual moment of impact on the news - that's what the republic of telly is for - but the last shot is a freeze frame of Bernie, placard in full flight over the cowering Minister, with the look of a crazed water protester on his face. Which he is, to be brutally honest. I see that now.

It's a great photo though, very clear and the back of the placard is in full view. " Templetown Villas - Launching Spring 2015," it says.

"Well, on the bright side, they probably couldn't buy publicity like that" I go as reach across to turn my phone off.

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