Up to 100 anti-water charges protesters jeered Taoiseach Enda Kenny as he arrived for an event in Galway.
Mr Kenny was in the city for a number of engagements, including the announcement of 230 new jobs, when he was confronted by the demonstrators outside the Radisson Blu Hotel yesterday.
There was a minor scuffle as his car pulled up outside and gardai formed a cordon to allow Mr Kenny to make his way into the hotel where he met with the Galway Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the Galway Harbour Company.
Speaking later, Mr Kenny said people who were on boil notices - such as the 1,000 residents in the north Galway town of Williamstown - should not have to pay for water.
He said the "final decisions" on charges would be made by the Government.
"We expect Government, having worked closely with Irish Water . . . with the Regulator and the Department of the Environment, will be able to make final and clear decisions about this so that everyone can understand exactly why we need this, how affordable and fair it can be for people," he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Kenny announced a 230-jobs boost for the county with new posts at manufacturing firm Valeo Vision Systems, business communications company Avaya and technology transfer outfit Vulcan Solutions.
Valeo, which manufactures safety camera systems for cars, is the biggest employer in Tuam. Most of the 140 new full-time jobs will go to people on short-time working arrangements at the plant.
Avaya is creating 75 new roles and is recruiting staff in research and development, engineering, finance, IT, and administrative support.
Avaya employs more than 400 people in Galway, 245 of whom are engaged in R&D activities.
The expansion will focus on developing next generation networking products.
The investment is being supported by the Department of Jobs through the IDA.
Vulcan, one of the city's longest established technology firms, is creating 15 new jobs.