7 Dec 2008

Protests against Irish education cuts

7:47 am on 7 December 2008

Around 40,000 people protested in Dublin on Saturday against spending cuts in education as part of government measures to counter a rise in Ireland's budget deficit.

A series of protests have been held against staff shortages and increased class sizes in recent months. Pensioners have also demonstrated.

Despite cutting spending and raising a range of taxes, the government expects the 2009 budget deficit to reach 6.5% of gross domestic product. This is more than double the level allowed by the European Union.

The government presented the 2009 budget in October, almost two months earlier than usual after Ireland went into recession.