Violence breaks out at student protest

Tens of thousands of students marched in Dublin today to protest education cutbacks mooted for December's budget. But protest turned to violence as riot police attempted to move protestors from outside the Department of Finance. By Shane Creevy

The group had been attempting a 'sit-in' outside the Department as the large crowds were dispersing after the main event had finished.

Organisers of the student protest said they were saddened by the events and that those who attempted the sit-in were not representative of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).


(Audio below. Image courtesy of @ronanmooney via twitpic:
Earlier, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) estimated 25,000 students arrived to join in the protest.

Demonstrators gathered at Trinity College and marched to Parnell Square and made their way back down O'Connell Street towards government buildings on Merrion Square.

Organisers chanted "No ifs, no buts, no education cuts", and other slogans including, "When they say cutback we say fightback".

Audio from protest: {mp3 width="400"}Student-Union-Budget-2011-Protest{/mp3}

Graduate unemployment and rising levels of emigration are also major concerns of the protestors.

Many students wore yellow t-shirts as can be seen in the image above. There were cheers of joy as USI President Gary Redmond announced international media were closely monitoring the event. He also said that Ireand had been a great country and could once again become a great country if investment in education was prioritised by government.

Earlier, Redmond said: "The Government continues to tell us that the deficit must be reduced to avoid passing a poisoned legacy to the next generation, but now they are proposing to cut student supports and increase charges for third level education whilst simultaneously transferring the debt onto students and the next generation. We are the future of the Irish nation. It will be the students of today who are the tax payers of tomorrow and it will be us that repay the cost of the bank bailout."