A gay rights activists was arrested in Dublin yesterday after a protest at the Irish parliament.

Will St Ledger climbed up on some pillars at an entrance to the parliament building and remained there for three hours. He was arrested but later released without charge.

He was protesting against the civil partnerships bill being introduced in parliament today. Mr St Ledger objects to the bill as it does not grant full civil marriage.

The proposed legislation will grant gay and lesbian couples legal recognition in areas such as pensions, social security, property rights, tax, succession and the payment of maintenance.

The government has ruled out gay marriage, claiming that it would require a change to the country’s constitution and a potentially divisive referendum.