Belfast Telegraph

Parliament targeted by protesters

Hundreds of activists have taken to the streets of Dublin over the Government's toughest Budget in the history of the state.

Tensions ran high outside the gates of the parliament building as smoke bombs and flares were lit by chanting demonstrators who faced a wall of gardai.

Three men were arrested for public order offences.

City centre workers, mothers and trade union members angry with leaders for accepting Government-backed pay deals joined the lively rally of about 500 people.

Sandra Doran, a 31-year-old sales rep from Rathfarnham, south Dublin, said she felt compelled to protest for the first time.

"We are just here to show we care, to show the world we are not going to take this lying down and that this is all the bankers' fault," she said.

"I came out because I don't want to look back in 10 years when everything has gone down the tubes and think I didn't do anything. At least I can say I was here."

Full-time mother Fainche Coffey brought her four-year-old daughter Isabel to join members of a "pots and pans protest", whose rhythms lightened the mood compared to the violence which marred recent demonstrations.

She said cuts in social welfare and child benefit payments will directly affect her life.

"At the moment, every tenner counts so I am going to feel this," she said.

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