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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 20 January 2022

'Hide your phone, here comes Joan': A few hundred protesters are outside the Labour conference

They were mostly peaceful and good-natured as the conference continued inside. A demonstration is also taking place in Dublin.

Updated at 3.05pm

OVER 300 PROTESTERS assembled outside the Labour party conference at the INEC in Killarney this afternoon.

The protesters were primarily demonstrating against water charges and had earlier gathered in the centre of Killarney before marching out to the events centre on the outskirts of the town.

Several demonstrators attempted to break a security corden but were prevented from doing so by security stewards and gardaí.

However, most of the protesters were overwhelmingly good-natured, but passionate.

Though the protest was primarily about water, the former MEP Kathy Sinnott addressed the crowd on children’s rights.

Others protested against “bias in all of the media”:

tv killers Source: Hugh O'Connell/TheJournal.ie

While others attempted to highlight the impacts of austerity on mental health:

suicide Source: Hugh O'Connell/TheJournal.ie

Among the slogans chanted were “banks got bailed out, we got sold out” and “hide your phone, here comes Joan” – a reference to the Tánaiste’s previous remarks about expensive phones.

The large security presence around the conference centre, along with various barriers meant the protesters were kept well away from the delegates inside:

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Meanwhile, in Dublin, protesters have gathered for a demonstration in support of the activists who were jailed earlier this month for breaking a court order not to interfere with the installation of water meters.

It’s planned a vigil will be held outside Mountjoy later this afternoon.

Traffic problems are expected around the O’Connell Street, Parnell Square and Phibsborough areas as a result.

Follow @TJ_ Politics and @oconnellhugh for updates from the Labour conference in Killarney. 

Additional reporting, Daragh Brophy.

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