Belfast Telegraph

Debt protesters in DoF lockdown

Occupy Dame Street activists have locked down the Department of Finance in protest against the Government paying 1.25 billion euro to unsecured bondholders.

Up to a dozen protesters have chained themselves together with special locking devices around the entrance of the department at Government Buildings.

Steven Bennett, spokesman for the movement, warned that it could take the Government and Gardai hours to cut through the locks.

He said the building could be shut down all day.

"We have been here since 6.30am this morning and we have a crowd of about 40 protesters," said Mr Bennett.

"We've used special locks that are kind of half-bells filled with concrete and other additives so it's going to take hours and hours, and special cutters to get through them."

The Government has insisted it will hand over the controversial payment to unsecured bondholders as part of its agreement to wipe the debts of the now defunct and nationalised Anglo Irish Bank.

The 1.25 billion euro is one instalment of a total 6.3 billion euro the Government intends to pay.

Gardai were at the scene, but there had been no early attempt to cut through the chains.


From Belfast Telegraph