Up to 120,000 protesters brought Dublin city centre to a standstill on Saturday over government austerity measures aimed at stabilising the once high-flying economy now wracked by recession.
The demonstration came a day after the global economic crisis led to another political casualty elsewhere in Europe, with Latvia’s prime minister quitting as his country grapples with deepening recession.
Organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and featuring teachers, police, civil servants and others, the Irish protest was the “first step in a rolling campaign of action,” ICTU general secretary David Begg said.
Police put the number of protesters at up to 120,000.
Marchers are particularly opposed to a pension levy on some 350,000 public servants which is designed to save about 1.4 billion euros (1.8 billion dollars) this year.