Between 1,500 and 2,000 people have turned out for a parade in Cork city to show support for the Defence Forces.
The 'Respect and Loyalty Parade' has ended for the day - the aim was to highlight dissatisfaction over pay and conditions.
It comes as Fianna Fáil said the numbers serving in the Irish Defence Forces has dropped below 9,000 members.
The party's Defence Spokesperson Jack Chambers took part in the parade and said change must be forthcoming.
He said: "They're the worst paid in the public service, we need a serious retention policy.
"We're continuing to haemorrhage numbers on a weekly basis, people are leaving for other jobs in the public and private sector.
He continued: "We need the issues around pay and conditions addressed.
"What we've had from Minister Keogh is non-action, a fudge and kicking the can down the road."