A Dublin cafe owner has told of the moment when a cement mixer was abandoned in protest at the front gates of the Dail building in Dublin
Carol Treacy, owner of Petit Cafe opposite the parliament, said: "I was preparing for business as usual this morning, and at about two or three minutes past seven I heard this big air brake sound - I thought it was the coffee machine."
"I went outside and saw a big, huge cement truck had just drove straight up to Leinster House gates and a female garda was calling for help.
"This guy just hopped out of the cab, locked it and just hopped on a ladder and got on top of the truck."
Ms Treacy said there was a large garda presence at the Dail within minutes. "There were police everywhere, but it was all very calm," she said.
"They were just trying to get him down. He wasn`t shouting or being abusive or anything, he was just standing on top of the truck. The guards were telling him to get down."
The windows of the cab were smashed as the garda tried to get the man down. The only damage to Dail property appeared to be scuff marks to the paintwork on the right-hand gate.
Ms Treacy said the truck appeared to have stopped at the large gated entrance just short of the Dail grounds.
"It was very, very close to the gate. I don't know if he hit the gate, but it was very, very close," she said.
Crowds of passers-by and commuters gathered at the scene shortly after the incident. "Some people were very sympathetic towards him. He was just a lone protester and it was quite a dramatic way to protest," Ms Treacy said.