10,000 attend Dublin anti-austerity demonstration

Dublin protest
Image caption Thousands of people attended the march

About 10,000 people attended an anti-austerity protest in Dublin on Saturday, according to Irish police.

The march was organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. Other groups were attending protesting over various cutbacks.

The aim of the protest was to highlight the impact of the Government's policies of austerity and cuts.

A Garda helicopter was circling over the march.

The president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions joined in calls for a general strike in protest at austerity and cutbacks.

Eugene McGlone told a crowd the steps required to organise a strike starting in individual workplaces.

Mr McGlone was initially heckled when he took to the platform.

Other speakers echoed the call for a general strike that would shut the country down.

However, senior trade unionists have disassociated themselves from the call.

Jack O'Connor, the president of the country's largest union, SIPTU, said that as in France, Irish trade unions cannot call general strikes on political issues.

He said they would have to be convinced that there would be support for such action and that the demands were attainable.

Other senior sources pointed out that such a move would require approval by the ICTU executive council - which has never even discussed the prospect of a general strike.

Another source described Mr McGlone's comments as a "solo run".

Protest organiser Mick O'Reilly president of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions said today's protest was only the beginning of a sustained campaign and urged the crowd to attend a further protest at Leinster house on budget day.