The Irish police are investigating a violent incident last night in which several members of the Socialist Workers Party and Unite trade union attempted to storm the Irish parliament.

The protesters were demonstrating against the Governments bank recapitalization plans.

A small number of unarmed police were blocking the entrance to parliament when a crowd of protesters attempted to storm the barricade.

The police were forced to draw their batons and five protesters subsequently received minor injuries.

Socialist Workers Party representative Mary Smith said she was hit by a baton.

“We tried to get into the Dáil [parliament] to make our point as forcefully as we could,” she said.

“We all arrived at the gate at the same time. The police locked arms. There was a push. People behind me, I was kind of jammed there.

“The policeman in front of me looked me in the eye and reached over and deliberately hit me as hard as he could.”

A contingency plan was immediately activated and all doors within Leinster House [parliament] were immediately shut down and further police reinforcements were drafted in.

Some 800 people attended the demonstration, which was calling on the Government to prioritize job provision and public services over bank recapitalization and tax increases.

The "Right to Work" campaign is backed by the Unite trade union and involves community groups and young unemployed activists.

Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance said he wanted the march to be the first step in a campaign against Government recapitalization policies, which he says caused Ireland's economic crisis.

Barrett said it was wrong to bailout a small number of people and the banks while the general public endured pay cuts and raised taxes.

Barrett said the policies were "the economics of the madhouse."