Up to 2,000 attend anti-cuts protest rally in Dublin
Up to 2,000 people have attended an anti-austerity rally in Dublin.
Hospital cleaners wielding brooms and pushing wheelie bins led the trade union-organised procession down O'Connell Street to the GPO.
The Dublin Council of Trade Unions coordinated the protest, and Irish Congress of Trade Unions president Eugene McGlone said activists were expressing concern at the implications of the upcoming budget.
"There is still wealth in this country and it must be forced to shoulder a fair portion of the responsibility to help resolve the situation. A situation it helped to create," he said.
He claimed the top 1% of earners owned 28% of all the wealth in the country, equating to 34,000 of whom own 130 billion euros in financial and housing wealth.
And the average holdings for adults in the top 1% was 3.8 million euros, the senior trade unionist added.
He criticised the treatment of those on benefits as well as possible VAT rises at a time when disposable income levels were falling.
Mr McGlone added: "The cuts being proposed are a political choice by the government and are not required under the EU-IMF deal.
"As I said, we have been arguing that the Government could make the necessary adjustments through taxes on the high income earners, property, capital and corporate income without the need to for more spending cuts and attacks on social welfare.
"This is a serious alternative to the leaked government proposals. An alternative which rightly puts more responsibility on the people who can afford to shoulder the burden."