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Monday 20 January 2020

Gardai may order bank protesters to leave site

Tom Brady Security Editor

Gardai are to carry out a fresh assessment of the 'Occupy Dame Street' protest after the demonstrators rejected their appeal to dismantle their camp before St Patrick's Day.

The protest group, which has been occupying the Central Bank plaza since October, had dwindled away to a handful of demonstrators but increased in numbers again last week after turning down the garda plea.

The St Patrick's Day parade is due to pass along Dame Street and in a letter delivered to the camp last week, Garda Supt Joe Gannon, of Pearse Street, asked the group for their "assistance and co-operation" in removing the camp.

The occupation was established in support of similar demonstrations in other European capitals. But most of those have since been dismantled and last week the Occupy London group was evicted from outside St Paul's Cathedral following a High Court order.

The garda letter made clear that the request was being made in the context of the parade, which would attract huge numbers of tourists.

Gardai said last night they were now looking again at the position of the protesters and were examining a number of options, including re-routing the parade, appealing again to them to end the occupation, or ordering them to leave the site.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the policing of protests was an operational matter for the gardai.

He had been informed that the group was currently encamped on private property, which was within Pearse Street garda district.

Irish Independent

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