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Dublin

Property tax protesters chain themselves to chairs, radiator in Revenue office

There are 25 – 30 protestors occupying the office, and are liaising with the gardaí.

A GROUP OF protestors have occupied a Revenue public office in Dublin, with three of them chaining themselves to parts of the building.

Police said they received a call at 12.15pm about a small number of protesters in a building on Cathedral St in the capital. Gardaí are in the building liaising with the protesters.

Ruth Coppinger of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes spoke to TheJournal.ie from within the building, as did a woman who chained herself to a chair, Bernie from Finglas.

Coppinger said there were around 25 activists in the building, and that they are protesting against “the double standard of massive companies” who she said are “using this country as a tax haven with nothing being done about it and ordinary people being hounded for property tax this week”.

The protesters entered the public office just before 12pm and proceeded to begin their occupation by performing a song, before shouting slogans. One of the activists chained himself using a bicycle lock to a wall radiator.

Coppinger said people “were totally supportive” and that the protest was “very non-threatening” and “no hassle whatsoever”. She added that the protest is not against Revenue workers or staff, or against the people using the tax office.

The office is closed to the public while the police deal with the protest.

Chained

Bernie, who is from Finglas, has chained herself to a chair in the tax office because she is "completely and utterly exasperated at what I see going on in this country". She told TheJournal.ie that she is 55 and unemployed, despite having worked since she was a teenager. Previously, she worked in the community sector and says that she cannot afford to pay the property tax.

"It’s disgraceful," she said. "It’s the end of a long list of things that are happening to the ordinary people. We cannot afford to be bled dry."

Bernie said that if gardaí attempt to arrest her, she will not protest. "If they want to put me in prison, put me in prison - they’ve taken everything from me."

Read: 30,000 people a day are sending in property tax returns>

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