Lecturers at the country's Institutes of Technology are demonstrating in protest at what they say is the "severe damage" that cutbacks have caused in the sector. 

The protests are being organised by the Teachers' Union of Ireland. 
 
It says student numbers have risen by one third since 2008, but lecturer numbers have fallen by almost 10%. 
 
TUI members working at the Institutes will be balloted in coming weeks on industrial action, up to and including strike action, in a campaign to secure changes. 
 
The union says the failure to provide appropriate funding and to maintain appropriate staffing levels has had a direct, negative impact on the student experience, with larger class sizes and considerably less access to essential facilities such as libraries and laboratories.

Tutorial and student support provision has also been cut sharply. 
 
It says the workload of many lecturers is now unsustainable and members are experiencing high levels of work related stress as a result.

The union has warned that the situation is "at crisis level". Its appealed to the Department of Education to engage "as a matter of urgency".