A Fine Gael public meeting in Cork city was briefly suspended tonight when protestors from the Connolly Youth Movement disrupted proceedings as the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, was about to speak. 

Mr Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney were both attending a town hall discussion, which was focused on the plebiscite for a directly-elected mayor in Cork.

Initially, one woman demanded a minute’s silence for two homeless people who had died in Cork in recent days.

Subsequently further protestors stood up and read prepared statements on issues like climate change and austerity policies. 

It is understood they had pre-registered for the meeting rather than walked in off the street. 

After the suspension, and when the protestors left, the Taoiseach said it was "profoundly undemocratic" to shout down a public meeting.  

One of the protestors subsequently told RTÉ News that their action was motivated by wanting to ensure that the Government, Fianna Fáil and Labour were "held accountable" for austerity politics. 

Around 100 people were attending the meeting which was chaired by Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune and disrupted by around four protestors.