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Dublin: 16°C Thursday 24 June 2021

Central Bank has 'no inclination' to force Occupy Dame Street out, says governor

Patrick Honohan says the bank has no inclination at present to push for the #ODS protest camp’s removal.

The protest camp outside the Central Bank headquarters on Dame Street.
The protest camp outside the Central Bank headquarters on Dame Street.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

THE GOVERNOR of the Central Bank has said that the bank currently has no intention of pushing for the removal of the Occupy Dame Street protest camp from outside its offices on Dame Street.

The Dublin protest movement launched its camp in October and is modelled on the Occupy Wall Street protests which first erupted in New York but later spread across American and global cities.

Speaking this evening at the launch of Michael O’Neill’s new book Bank Architecture in Dublin, Honohan said that the “clock is ticking” for the Central Bank’s base at the Dame Street building because its staff level had outgrown the property.

“We won’t go suddenly, and we won’t board it up. There could be scope to retain some central banking activities here for a number of years, if it takes that long before a suitable purchaser emerges,” he said. “We have some ideas here and are open to others.”

He said that a “new development” for the Central Bank on Dame Street “has been the arrival of the Occupy movement”.

Although the bank doesn’t “welcome their presence”, Honohan said that so long as no one is “harmed or put in danger” by the protesters, “we are not at present inclined to take action to have them moved away”.

The governor also acknowledged that the group goes some way towards representing the views of wider society about the banking sector and the financial crisis:

While not everyone is happy with their being there, several people have said to me that their presence symbolises, albeit in a rather ambiguous and even incoherent way, the feelings of a large part of society in regard to what has gone wrong in the financial sector and with the banks.

Watch: Christy Moore sings ‘Ride On’ at Occupy Dame Street >

Read: Occupy Dame Street camp is “killing” Temple Bar businesses >

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