Over 1,000 attend Dublin protest

 

More than 1,000 people participated in a protest against Government policy in Dublin tonight.

The demonstration, organised by the Right to Work Campaign, heard calls for the Government to reverse spending cutbacks and to focus on reducing the numbers unemployed rather that providing large sums to the State's banks.

The crowd was addressed by Sinn Féin's Senator Pearse Doherty, People Before Profit councillor Richard Boyd Barrett, UCD academic Kieran Allen and Brendan Ogle of the Unite trade union.They gathered on Molesworth Street, near Leinster House, before marching to the GPO.

The gates of Dáil remained open for the majority of the protests but the building was protected by a large number of gardaí. A small number of protestors gathered outside after the march departed.

Some objects were hurled at gardaí, who linked arms and formed a semi-circle outside the Dáil to hold back the protesters. This group, which included supporters of Republican group Éirígí and the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, then turned their backs to Leinster House in a symbolic protest.

Earlier, there were minor scuffles on St Stephen’s Green as a feeder march organised by Éirígí and the Workers Solidarity Movement made its way to the headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank.

The protestors, about 300 of which set off from the Wolfe Tone monument, clashed with gardaí who attempted to keep them off the road and on the footpath as they made the short journey to the Anglo Irish building. They later joined the Right to Work protest.

Unite trade union official Brendan Ogle told the demonstration that Ireland had been destroyed by a self-perpetuating elite of politicians, developers and bankers with no mandate. "This elite has stolen this nation and its wealth and left us in thrall to gombeen men," he said.

Gardaí and Oireachtas staff bolstered their security presence both inside and outside the Dáil ahead of the march. Last week a small number of officers were forced to draw their batons as a section of the crowd attempted to gain entry to Leinster House.