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Thousands pack Derry's Guildhall Square to show solidarity with strikers

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Trade Union members who took part in Friday's strike in Derry. Picture: Martin McKeown

Trade Union members who took part in Friday's strike in Derry. Picture: Martin McKeown

Trade Union members who took part in Friday's strike in Derry. Picture: Martin McKeown

Close to 3,000 people packed into Guildhall Square in Londonderry as part of the public sector strike across Northern Ireland.

Members of trade unions Unison, Unite, NIPSA and the Irish National Teachers Organisation set off on a march from Altnagelvin Hospital at noon, led by two pipers.

Around 500 workers made their way through the Waterside and across the Craigavon Bridge where hundreds of supporters greeted their arrival with loud cheers.

Several paramedics from the Ambulance Service who were prevented from fully participating in the day of action, joined the lunch-time rally.

Chairman of the Trades Union Council in Derry, Liam Gallagher, introduced a number of speakers on the platform from the participating unions as well as writer and activist Eamonn McCann, Jackie Gallagher from Citizens Advice Bureau and President of the Students’ Union Ryan Kelly.

Among those gathered was Damien Condren who was holding a large Unison banner.

He said: “I work in Foyle Haven, a homeless charity that helps people who are alcohol dependent. I just don’t agree with these cuts whatsoever, full stop, because of the damage it is doing to society.

“I work with the most vulnerable in society and if our places close, I would be seriously concerned about the affect on this town.”

Also out on strike was Nipsa member Sinead Brolly who works in the Waterside hospital caring for mentally ill patients.

She said: “Morale in the workplace is really low.

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Public Sector mass rally at Belfast City Hall to protest against spending cuts. Presseye

Public Sector mass rally at Belfast City Hall to protest against spending cuts. Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

Jim Quinn Leader of the Fire Brigade Union

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph Jim Quinn Leader of the Fire Brigade Union

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Emma Quinn

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Emma Quinn

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

(L-R) Gary Mc Corkingdale and Thomas Moore

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph (L-R) Gary Mc Corkingdale and Thomas Moore

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

(L-R) Clare Mc Donnell, Ciara and David Macleish with their children Piaras (left) and Eva

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph (L-R) Clare Mc Donnell, Ciara and David Macleish with their children Piaras (left) and Eva

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

Sean burns

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph Sean burns

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

(L-R) Margaraet Mc Cabe, Colette McKinney, Lorainne McMenamy and Cathy Gourley

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph (L-R) Margaraet Mc Cabe, Colette McKinney, Lorainne McMenamy and Cathy Gourley

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

(L-R) Margaraet Mc Cabe and Colette McKinney

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph (L-R) Margaraet Mc Cabe and Colette McKinney

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

Colette McKinney

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph Colette McKinney

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

Michelle Davidson

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph Michelle Davidson

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

Michelle Davidson

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph Michelle Davidson

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015
Presseye Declan Roughan

VoxPop Belfast Telegraph

Mary Smith

Public Service Rally - Belfast City Centre - 13th March 2015 Presseye Declan Roughan VoxPop Belfast Telegraph Mary Smith

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

Radiographer at the R.V.H, Connor McCarthy
?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. Radiographer at the R.V.H, Connor McCarthy ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.
The strike at The R.V.H today
?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The strike at The R.V.H today ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured members of the UNITE AND NIPSA union on strike outside the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured members of the UNITE AND NIPSA union on strike outside the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured members of the UNITE AND NIPSA union Daire and Grainne Lawlor on strike outside the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured members of the UNITE AND NIPSA union Daire and Grainne Lawlor on strike outside the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured members of the UNITE AND NIPSA union on strike outside the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured members of the UNITE AND NIPSA union on strike outside the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-03-2015: Northern Ireland public sector strike disrupts public services. Public services in Northern Ireland are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. On the picket line on the Antrim Road in Belfast.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-03-2015: Northern Ireland public sector strike disrupts public services. Public services in Northern Ireland are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. On the picket line on the Antrim Road in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-03-2015: Northern Ireland public sector strike disrupts public services. Public services in Northern Ireland are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. On the picket line on the Antrim Road in Belfast.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 13-03-2015: Northern Ireland public sector strike disrupts public services. Public services in Northern Ireland are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. On the picket line on the Antrim Road in Belfast. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".
One of the picket lines at Gt.Victoria Street
?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". One of the picket lines at Gt.Victoria Street ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".
Robert Sharkey, outside Gloucester House, Belfast.
?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". Robert Sharkey, outside Gloucester House, Belfast. ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".
One of the picket lines at Gt.Victoria Street
?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". One of the picket lines at Gt.Victoria Street ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard  13th March 2015
Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained".
One of the picket lines at Gt.Victoria Street
?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard 13th March 2015 Public services in Northern Irelands are being disrupted by a strike by some public sector trade unions. The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration. The Department of Health has said arrangements have been put in place to ensure "critical services will be maintained". One of the picket lines at Gt.Victoria Street ?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

?Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured members of the NIPSA union on strike outside De La Salle College in Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured members of the NIPSA union on strike outside De La Salle College in Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured members of the NIPSA union on strike outside De La Salle College in Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured members of the NIPSA union on strike outside De La Salle College in Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured members of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured members of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph 

Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes

Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. 


Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Friday 13th March 2015 - Public Sector Strikes Pictured Batman of the UNITE union on strike outside the Falls Road Bus Depot in West Belfast on Friday 13th March. Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Public Sector mass rally at Belfast City Hall to protest against spending cuts. Presseye

“We are in support services and we already have had major cutbacks which has added to the workload on ourselves; we haven’t had any pay increase or band increase even though we are doing more work.

“It reaches the point when you just have to stand up and say no.

“It is good that the ambulance staff are here and that they are standing up to management because the next time they will say, we can’t let nurses out, we can’t let anyone out by calling a Major Incident.”

Eddie Ryan, who is also from Nipsa and works in the Rectory Field nursing home, agreed.

He said: “The ambulance management were trying to break the back of the strike by calling a Major Incident.

“It was an underhand thing to do but just look at how many people turned out in support of it; it goes to show their tactic wasn’t successful.”

Not everyone who was in the Guildhall Square was a worker or a member of a union but they felt strongly that the strikers should be supported.

These included Dr Anne McCloskey who said she was fully behind her health service colleagues on the picket line and would have liked to see many thousands of people standing in support of the industrial action.

Former public sector worker Rona Lavery said: “I retired in June but I worked in the civil service for 37-and-a-half years. I fully support the strike and felt it was important to show support here.”

Belfast Telegraph