A small group of protesters has forced the cancellation of a property auction at the Shelbourne Hotel.

The auction by Allsop Space was due to start at 10am.

It has now been postponed until further notice.

One of the protesters stood in front of the auctioneers and appealed to buyers not to bid for the lots on sale.

Director of Auctions at Allsop Space, Robert Hoban said the event was cancelled on safety grounds.

Mr Hoban said that Allsop Space "fully respects people's rights to make their opinions known."

One of the protest's organisers Gerry Beades said Allsop was "a British firm of auctioneers that has been brought in by Irish bankers".

However, Mr Hoban said that it was an Irish-registered company with Irish employees.

"Today we cancelled today's auction, it is the first time we've done it. It was the sensible thing to do given the safety issues," Mr Hoban said.

In a statement, Allsop said: “The actions of some people attending were both unlawful and intimidatory, resulting in people being prevented from going about their lawful and necessary business as well as being put at risk of personal harm."

The auctioneer said occasional opposition had been undertaken at previous events, but today's demonstration was "markedly different."

The company said it would continue to offer the properties for sale either by public auction or through other means.

“Allsop Space apologises to the thousands of people who attended today's event, either in person, by phone or online for the purpose of buying or selling a property."