Miriam Lord: Childcare workers give candidates a wake up call

These are the people ignored by the parties whose leaders look down on them from lampposts

Tens of thousands of childcare providers, teachers, and parents have taken part in a protest in Dublin calling for greater government investment in the sector. Video: Bryan O’Brien

The protesters stretched all the way down the south side of Merrion Square, as far as the eye could see. Around the corner, through the trees to the east, you could glimpse the movement of thousands – maybe 10,000 more.

It was a stirring sight. Almost all the marchers were women, many wheeling buggies or marshalling small children alongside them. This demo was huge – 30,000 marchers was the estimated figure by the time the tail end of the procession caught up with the crowd.

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