Union leader forced to miss Brussels protest
One of the country's top trade unionists had to make do with a protest in Dublin yesterday after a wildcat strike scuppered his plans to join the main European demonstration.
David Begg, Irish Congress of Trade Unions general secretary, was booked on a flight to Brussels where tens of thousands of protesters from across Europe were expected to march against big budget cuts.
Ironically, his flight was cancelled when air-traffic controllers walked out and closed Belgium's airspace.
Mr Begg instead joined almost 1,500 demonstrators in Dublin, where members protested against government policies and the record number of people on the dole queue.
The walkout led to the cancellation of both Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights.
The action was called off early at noon, with air traffic slowly returning to normal.