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Thousands march at austerity protest despite debt deal

(Credit: Charlie Heasman) An austerity march held last Saturday kick started in the Liberties with those taking part gathering at Winetavern and Cook Street, situated near Christchurch Cathedral.

Local southside rock band Knot, played on stage to the large crowd before the march moved off at 2pm. Leading the march were the Church Hill Silver Band, who had travelled from Fermanagh in a demonstration of cross-border support.

Thousands marched against austerity cuts along Dame Street, Nassau Street and on to Merrion Square, where demonstrators were addressed by David Begg, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU).

The protest passed peacefully and no incidents were reported to Gardaí. Many organisers described the protest as “subdued.”

According to a spokesperson for the ICTU, approximately 60,000 people were estimated to have marched however, garda estimates put the figure at 25,000.

Speculation surrounding the protest has suggested that the bank deal announced earlier this week by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan may have resulted in a lower than expected turnout, and that with much of the pressure to repay the debt deferred, public anger has been significantly dissipated.

Speaking at the protest David Begg commented that there will be “No more Mr Nice Guy” from Ireland.

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