MANY today may well think that the only surprising thing about the protest last night, which saw a group trying to break through the gates of Leinster House, is that something like this hasn't happened before.
After all, we've been boiling with anger for some time, haven't we?
In Greece, violent protest over similar tax hikes, pay cuts and job losses has ended with people dead.
Angry protest was bound to happen here sometime wasn't it?
Well, no. Fact is, this is not really the way we operate. And it now emerges that last night's scenes were not simply outraged citizens who'd had enough, but that a more sinister element was behind it.
Hardline Republicans were apparently responsible for the behaviour of the mob that ended with the gardai being attacked.
We shouldn't take things laying down, true. But neither should we let an ugly element in our society dictate how to deal with things.