Protesters resolute in opposition to new pay cuts
Members of the 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance comprised of workers from five organisations have gathered in Tallaght tonight for a national rally to highlight their opposition to government plans to cut pay. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien/Irish Times
The National Basketball Arena in Tallaght saw a virtually unprecedented outburst of anger from thousands of frontline public service workers tonight at the prospect of further cuts in their earnings.
The 2,500 seats in the auditorium were occupied in full while around 1,000 or more other gardaí, general nurses, psychiatric nurses, prison officers, paramedics and fire service personnel stood in the aisles and doorways.
Their message of the rally organised by the 24/7 alliance was clear. Its members would accept no further pay cuts as proposed by the Government as part of an extension to the Croke Park agreement.
However the anger of those present was not confined to the Government. There was strong criticism of the leaders of the trade union movement who are currently engaged with public service management on the proposed new deal.
The general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation Liam Doran urged those present to act on the energy flowing from the meeting and to begin contacting TDs and senators from when they get home tonight.