Over 1,500 home help workers and their supporters took part in a protest rally in Cork this afternoon to highlight their concerns over cutbacks in their hours.

Just over 1 million home help hours have to be cut from Health Service Executive budgets by the end of 2012.

The home help workers, who travelled from all over the country to today's rally, say the cuts will have a disastrous impact on society's most vulnerable people.

They are calling on Minister for Health James Reilly and the HSE to respect the dignity of their clients and to stop cutting home help services.

SIPTU, which represents almost 10,000 home helps nationwide, said it was gearing up its protest ahead of Labour Relations Commission talks with the HSE later this month and December's Budget.