Protesters clash with gardai outside Dail
A small number of protesters clashed with gardai outside Leinster House last night after Finance Minister Michael Noonan revealed his package of Budget measures.
A few people were involved in the incident, which observers described as mainly of a "pushing and shoving" nature.
It broke out at around 6pm on Kildare Street but was quickly quelled by gardai, some of them on horseback.
Gardai maintained a presence at the scene for a period afterwards.
There was a high level of security outside the Dail all day in anticipation of some trouble following the Budget announcements, however, the protests were mostly peaceful.
"There were no major incident to report," a garda spokesperson said last night. "Nothing of significance happened."
While another garda on Kildare Street described the the protestors as "quite vocal, but not more than that".
At one stage during the day, several hundred peaceful protesters had assembled, representing groups including the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes.
Around 30 members of the Loch Garman Against Austerity group also kept a vigil throughout the day.
Groups also arrived from Waterford, Wicklow and parts the country.
The Wexford group said their main focus was maintaining pressure on the Government because most people were afraid to come out and protest.
On learning that the penalties for non-payment of the household charge had been increased to €200, one woman declared: "Good. Now they'll have even less a chance of people paying it."
"We're hoping more people will join the ranks – we are here to share solidarity with ordinary people on the street," said Owen Dunbar of the group.
"This Government is trying to operate by frightening people but fear tactics don't work," added Terry Conlan.