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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019
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Here's why roads in the centre of Dublin were blocked today

Retired ESB workers were protesting about the devaluation of their pensions.

TODAY SAW PARTS of central Dublin closed off around the Merrion Square area.

For around an hour traffic was diverted away from Fitzwilliam Street Lower from Baggot Street lower to Merrion Square east.

This was due to a protest by the ESB Retired Staff Association, a group of former ESB employees protesting against changes to their pension funds.

The group claimed to have been unable to engage with the trustees of the company’s pension scheme – leaving them out of decisions relating to the fund.

Around 1,000 protesters, the majority of whom were retired ESB staff, had travelled from all areas of the country to stage the protest – also expressed grievances at devaluations in the pension scheme and the blocking of pension increases.

ESB protest pictures Source: TheJournal.ie

The group gathered on Merrion Square east for around an hour before marching towards Government Buildings on Merrion Street.

The march concluded with a letter being presented to a representative for Tánaiste Joan Burton. Two other letters were brought to the building for Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin – although these were not received.

IMG_0981 Source: TheJournal.ie

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, former ESB employee, Pat Fitzgerald, 67, from Cork, explained that, “protest is about ESB pensioners and seeking recognition for all the pensioners who are not being recognised at the moment.”

Fitzgerald, who paid into the pension fund for more than 40 years, said that difficulty arises from from a breakdown in communications between representation for current employees and retired members of staff.

Gerry Harrington, also 67, from Kildare, said:

I was paying into the pension for 44 years. This pension is not a handy government pension. This is something we were paying 8% or 9% for, and for that many years, we fairly lost out.

Read: Looking for work? ESB is hiring 300 apprentices

Also: The Big Four of Irish energy were accused of ‘fleecing’ their customers today

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