More than 300 people have taken part in a protest in Co Mayo against cuts to home help hours.

Workers and supporters from the west and north-west of the country marched in Castlebar, the constituency of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The Health Service Executive is proposing a reduction of €8m in home help services between now and the end of the year.

Local communities from Mayo, Galway, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Donegal were involved in the march on Mr Kenny’s office.

Some 500,000 hours have been taken out of the service already this year.

Campaigners say the cuts are hurting the most vulnerable people in society.

They say that instead of saving money, the HSE will incur greater expense as many elderly people will need institutional care.

The HSE said the proposed €8m savings to the end of this year will aim to minimise the impact on direct patient care.

It said a level of service will be continued to be provided to current recipients of home help.