Protesters in lockdown over Anglo payout

Demonstrations outside government departments and the bank formally known as Anglo Irish took place yesterday to mark the controversial handover of €1.25 billion to unsecured bondholders.

Up to a dozen Occupy Dame St activists locked down the Department of Finance by chaining themselves together with special locking devices around the entrance of the department at Government Buildings.

Steven Bennett, Occupy Dame St spokesman, warned it could take the Government and gardaí 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.

“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.”

Meanwhile, opponents of new property and water charges including a group of opposition TDs, protested outside the former headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank in Dublin to mark the payment to the bondholders.

Members of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes, which is calling for the non-payment of the new €100 property tax by householders, described the payments to Anglo’s bondholders as a national scandal.

“The Government threatens householders hoping to collect €160m in a year, but meekly transfers over eight times that amount in one payment in one day to Anglo,” said a spokesperson.

“Ordinary people are being asked to accept penury to enrich anonymous bondholders in this and other banks.”

The TDs present were Luke Flanagan, Richard Boyd-Barrett, Clare Daly, Joan Costello, Séamus Healy, John Halligan, Tom Pringle, Mick Wallace, and Joe Higgins.

Mr Boyd-Barrett said he understood that fewer than 5% of householders had so far registered to pay the €100 household charge by the March 31 deadline.

“We’re confident, judging from the response of the public, that the campaign commands huge support across the country,” said Mr Boyd-Barrett.

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