An estimated 10,000 people have turned out in Dublin for a Dáil protest against the Government's move to end the automatic medical-card entitlement for people over the age of 70.
The protest is taking place despite yesterday's efforts to assuage anger over the controversial decision.
Pensioners are continuing to demand that the automatic entitlement be fully restored.
Many fear the Government's move will lead to erosion of the planned income thresholds in the coming years and could also pose a threat to their free travel passes, fuel allowances and TV licence entitlements.
Today’s protest has caused major traffic disruption in the city centre, with Kildare Street and Molesworth Street completely closed to motorists.
Gardaí are advising drivers to avoid the south city centre if possible.
More disruption is also expected later as students march from Parnell Square to the Dáil to highlight their opposition to the possible reintroduction of third-level fees.