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Protesters hit at banks with rooftop demo

PROTESTERS climbed on to the roof of Anglo Irish Bank in Dublin early today in advance of a protest march.

A large garda presence is expected around St Stephen's Green this evening for the protest, which has been organised planned by hardline republican group Eirigi.

The same organisation was behind violent scenes outside Leinster House on Tuesday night when a small group tried to storm the Dail.

Four activists climbed on a canopy over the entrance to Anglo Irish Bank headquarters in St Stephen's Green around 6am today, holding a large banner proclaiming People of Ireland Rise Up.

Up to eight garda units have been at the scene since early morning and the area around the bank is now sealed off with barriers.

On Tuesday, dozens of protesters led by Eirigi -- a breakaway faction from Sinn Fein -- and the Socialist Workers Party were fought back by baton-wielding gardai outside the Dail.

Leinster House went into lockdown and politicians told the Herald that the protesters left gardai with no option but to draw batons to bring them under control.

This is Eirigi's second attempt to protest at Anglo Irish bank since they occupied the headquarters last month on April 24.

An Eirigi spokesperson said today that they want to "send a message to the business class and their servants in Leinster House that they can no longer get away with their acts of theft without facing the direct action of an angry and united people".

The protest will mark the 94th anniversary of James Connolly's execution in 1916, according to the group.

Groups are also planning a further march on the Dail next Tuesday.

hnews @herald.ie