Small turnout but gathering 'symbolic'
THERE was a camera to cover each protester.
Surrounded by a group of gardai and some 30 national and international media, the small group of protesters who gathered outside the Department of Finance yesterday morning could be forgiven for being slightly disappointed at the turnout.
However, the 20 or so members of the Socialist Party did their best to rally spirits and raised placards decrying the "Big business solution" and demanded the country "end the dictatorship of the markets".
Yesterday's event was a "symbolic protest", said Socialist MEP Joe Higgins, where those gathered were contesting handing over "the fate of the Irish people to faceless, unelected and unaccountable operators in the financial markets of the world".
Among the protesters was Tony Hamilton, an unemployed builder from Stamullen in Co Meath, who held his 14-month-old daughter Aiva. "I was over in London for a weekend and the people are smiling, walking around happy. They can live," he said.
Flying a plain red flag with a hammer and sickle on the front was Eugene McCartan, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland.
"The chickens are coming home to roost now," Mr McCartan said.