Belfast Telegraph

Call over debt agency's buildings

Vacant properties controlled by the bad debt agency Nama should be opened to the public, campaigners have declared.

Around 40 people from the Unlock Nama group temporarily occupied a Nama-owned building in Dublin city centre to highlight their campaign.

The group said it wanted to see empty Nama buildings available for social and community use.

Spokesman Mick O'Broin said: "There's been a lot of talk about putting empty Nama buildings to good use. We're making that idea a reality this weekend.

"The occupation of this unused building is a first step in our campaign to highlight Nama's assets the debt the agency has created and to work with others to develop alternatives."

The group's Thom McDermott said: "Ireland's bad bank is an unmitigated failure. The objectives of Nama were to get banks lending again and to stabilise the whole banking sector but two years on and that simply hasn't happened.

"The banks have required further handouts and even nationalisation and they're still not lending."

Gardai said they were called to the property at Great Strand Street. They said they spoke to the demonstrators who later left the premises.

A spokesman for gardai said there was no damage to property and there were no arrests.

The protesters said nearly 100 people took part in their day of events. They claimed they were later told by Gardai they may be open to charges if they did not leave the building they were occupying.

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