An anti-household charge demonstration in Dublin attracted an estimated 5,000 people from across Ireland in a protest against the €100 household charge.
According to Journal.ie, demonstrators began gathering at about 1:30pm around the National Convention Centre, where Fine Gael’s Árd-Fheis (annual party conference) is continuing. More volunteers arrived by busloads at around 2pm.
At the opening of the conference, Prime Minister Enda Kenny made a last-ditch plea to the 986,000 of the 1.6 million households who still had to pay the €100 charge.
"I know that no new taxes are popular. The household charge is no exception. But it is needed to fund local services in every city, in every town and in every village in our country," he said.
Environment minister Phil Hogan, whose department is responsible for the charge, said: "I never contemplate disappointment. I think it's great to see so many people complying with the law,"
A security cordon was put in place by police, who, according to eyewitnesses, had to intervene after some protesters tried to gain access to the Fine Gael event.
Despite fierce opposition against the controversial charge, Kenny got a surprise boost in an opinion poll, which gave his party a slight one percent increase in support, according to the Irish Independent.
On Friday night, Justice Minister Alan Shatter told the protesters to "get a life."
"I’ve never seen such a mountain made out of a molehill in my life," he said.
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