Thousands at Dublin household charge protest

Dail Eireann The Irish government's deadline for registering for the new charge is midnight on Saturday

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About 5,000 people have staged a protest in Dublin against the Irish government's controversial 100 euros Household Charge ahead of Saturday's midnight deadline for payment.

The measure announced last July is expected to raise 160m euros (£137m) in revenue.

The rally has been taking place near where Taoiseach Enda Kenny's Fine Gael party is holding its annual conference.

A near riot broke out when a Fine Gael delegate who resembled local government minister Phil Hogan tried to pass through the crowd, reported RTE.

He had to be rescued by gardai after he was surrounded and assaulted a number of times by angry protesters.

The flat-rate charge is the first tax on domestic property since rates in the Republic were abolished in 1997.

Anyone who pays online after the deadline passes will face a 10% surcharge along with 1% interest.

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