Irish to take to the streets as crisis threatens to boil over

Steve Dinneen
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Ireland looks set to be hit by waves of civil unrest as the full scale of its financial nightmare begins to sink in.

Jack O’Connor, general president of SIPTU, Ireland’s largest labour union believes anger at the government’s handling of the crisis coupled with severe austerity cuts will drive the Irish to the streets.

He said: “I think we’re close to the tipping point. The kind of policies that have been pursued to date, which have been seen to fail, will not work. There will be a reaction to those kind of policies.”

Trade unions, student groups and senior citizens are planning the first demonstration in Dublin on Saturday.

Eamon Devoy, general secretary of the 40,000-strong Technical Engineering and Electrical Union, added: “A lot of political leaders have been saying that they can’t understand the calm about the Irish citizens at the moment, but I think it’s the calm before the storm.”

Next week the government will issue its four-year plan for cutting the worst budget deficit in the Eurozone, with a target of €15bn in savings by 2014.