Tens of thousands of people have marched through Dublin city centre in support of the nurses’ campaign for better pay.
Three days of strike action are set to be held this coming week.
Demonstrators paraded from Parnell Square down O’Connell Street carrying banners and supported by trade unionists from across Ireland.S
The rally was organised by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
Sinn Fein President Mary-Lou McDonald said: “We have a recruitment and retention crisis which is only getting worse.
“This dispute can be solved.
This government needs to address the staffing issue, they have to stop throwing money at agency staffing in order to compensate for the recruitment and retention crisis and instead pay nurses and midwives properly. #StandWithNursesAndMidwives pic.twitter.com/Y5qNxOlNaj— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) February 9, 2019
“The failure thus far to find a resolution has been down to the Government’s refusal to engage respectfully and without preconditions.
“I urge them to listen to the workers and address the core issues of fair pay and safe staffing levels.”
The protest moved down Eden Quay and across the Liffey.
It ended up at Merrion Street where a stage was put up near Government Buildings.
INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “Equal pay for nurses with other graduates is something we have strived for, is something that we seek, and it’s something that we intend to get, because without it, nursing and midwifery will still be considered a little bit of a vocation and a little bit of ‘girls going to work’ and girls just not having the right to stand up for themselves.”
- Press Association