Report on Dublin Council of Trade Unions Pre-Budget Demonstration


A crowd of over 500 people took part in Saturday’s  pre-budget march called by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions. The DCTU’s core message was to demand progressive taxation and public investment as an alternative to further cuts in public spending. 

As always, the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope contributed greatly to the atmosphere of the rally with impressive visual and musical displays. A hearse and coffin led the protest, followed by nine giant posters bearing the much unloved faces of nine government ministers with the blood red inscription “Austerity Kills”. The Spectacle’s second message reverberated in song through the streets: “Arise, arise, arise!”


At the subsequent rally at the GPO, Mick O’Reilly of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions said that people might be willing to make sacrifices if they succeeded in improving society but the sacrifices being asked of working people these last five years clearly had not.  Shouts of “Unions Sold Out!” erupted from the crowd at this point. Speaking of the ASTI’s recent rejection of the Haddington Road agreement, O’Reilly claimed that the current government possessed the most draconian powers over trade unions in Europe but if a minister chose to exercise them then they would face the combined opposition of all trade unionists.

Other speakers highlighted how austerity measures have devastated the community sector in recent years. According to a recent ICTU report, employment in the sector is expected to fall from 53,098 people in 2008 to 36,638 by end 2015 with further cuts expected in education, community employment, housing, mental health, disability and especially in services for the protection and welfare of children .

WORDS: Tom Murray IMAGES: Andrew Flood

See our Facebook album of images from the DCTU protest

(1). Over the same period, the wealthiest 10% of Irish people have actually grown their wealth by 8%