Protesters gather in Dublin

 

About 400 people are protesting outside the Dáil tonight under a large Garda presence.

Left-wing groups, students and community organisations are protesting over Budget 2011, which was unveiled by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan this afternoon.

Security is tight outside Leinster House and Government Buildings and gardaí have erected a large number of crash barriers. About 150 gardaí and the Garda dog unit are on the scene.

The Garda helicopter is hovering overhead.

Later a large group broke away from the main protest and marched towards Merrion Square where they began demonstrating outside Government Buildings.

The protests have been noisy but largely peaceful so far, although a man was earlier manhandled by a number of people under the impression he was Kerry South Independent TD Jackie Healy-Rae.

The man was taken to safety by gardaí.

Three people have been arrested for public order offences.