Anti-household charge protesters forced the abandonment of a meeting of Cork City Council after they occupied the public gallery of the chamber and began shouting and chanting slogans.

A stand-off continued for over two hours, with the protesters refusing to leave.

The protesters were initially welcomed by Lord Mayor Councillor John Buttimer, who told them they were not entitled to contribute to proceedings.

However, within minutes the protesters unfurled banners and began shouting questions at councillors about the property tax.

They also chanted slogans. The meeting was suspended and gardaí were called.

A stand-off followed, with the protesters refusing to leave or stop chanting, and the councillors insisting that they would not be forced from the chamber to which they were elected.

The meeting was eventually abandoned and the stand-off ended after more than two hours when the protesters and councillors agreed to leave City Hall at the same time.