Occupy Cork

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Not to be confused with Vita Cortex sit-in.
Occupy Cork
Part of the Occupy movement and anti-austerity protests in Ireland
Date From 15 October 2011 to 13 March 2012
Location Cork
Causes Economic inequality, corporate influence over government, Populism, inter alia.
Status Ended

Occupy Cork was a peaceful protest and demonstration against alleged economic inequality, social injustice and corporate greed taking place on the junction of the Grand Parade and South Mall and at the NAMA-listed Stapleton House on Oliver Plunkett Street in the Irish city of Cork.[1] The group have established their own website and have occupied Stapleton House since receiving the keys to the building on 25 December.[2] Occupy Cork does not have affiliations to any political parties or organisations.[3]


The protest at its original location has been going on for months.[4] There has been a camp on the junction of the Grand Parade and South Mall in the city centre since summer 2011.[5]

On 15 October 2011, simultaneous protests took place in Cork and Galway regarded by local media as having mimicked Occupy Wall Street (New York) and Occupy Dame Street (Dublin).[3] The protest was also referenced in the national media.[6]

The protestors have organised a number of both traditional demonstrations and non-traditional demonstrations since they've started. One of the most famous of these was a 'teach-in' in AIB's branch on the South Mall; where a local schoolteacher and a group of young primary school children and their parents held a maths class in the front lobby of the bank for around an hour, before the subsequent arrival of the police necessitated a recess(Irish Examiner). Other protests included a reverse bank robbery, a number of marches and silent protests.

In November, the group began publishing a newsletter with the subtitle 'Rebel News in the Rebel Capital' to publicise its ideas and that of the Occupy Movement.

On the evening of 3 January 2012, it was announced that a vacant six-storey[1] NAMA-listed building on Oliver Plunkett Street had been taken over after it was gifted to the people of Cork.[7] They said an anonymous donor had left the keys to the building under the Christmas tree on Grand Parade on 25 December.[5][8] The Garda Síochána (police) visited the occupied building soon after then left again.[2]

The building, unused since a part-demolition and refurbishment undertaken in 2008, has been cleaned by its occupiers.[5] The occupiers released an online video chronicling their takeover of the building.[9]

On 8 January 2012, there was a céilí mór (a "big" céilí) in the afternoon to raise funds.[2]

The Cork City Community Resource Centre is intended to open in the occupied building on Monday 23 January 2012, after an open day. The facility is expected to include classrooms, a music school, health facilities, a library, a bookshop, a café, a crèche, and a number of free inititatives for the public, including internet access, financial and legal advice, and counselling and suicide prevention services.[2][7][10]

The camp was dismantled on 13 March 2012.[11]


Fine Gael politician Des Cahill has described the protest as "attention seeking".[12] Former Green Party senator and party chairman Dan Boyle described the manoeuver of 3 January as an "interesting development" and suggested that it was perfectly legal.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b O'Connell, Brian (3 January 2012). "Protesters take empty offices for community use". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hayes Curtin, Brian (5 January 2012). "Occupy squatters plan to be 'an example to the country'". Cork Independent. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Hayes Curtin, Brian (13 October 2011). "Occupy Cork protests to begin this Saturday". Cork Independent. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  4. ^ O'Carroll, Daniel (4 January 2012). "Occupy Cork moves camp, as local councillor calls them attention seekers - VIDEO". Irish Central. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Riegel, Ralph; McQuinn, Cormac (4 January 2012). "Protesters say Secret Santa gave them keys of empty €1m offices". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Protests held in Dublin, Cork". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Occupy movement takes over Cork building". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Group 'liberate' Nama building to become community centre". TheJournal.ie. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Video: Cork protesters 'liberate Nama building'". TheJournal.ie. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Allen, Christine (3 January 2012). "Group occupies 'NAMA' building". Cork Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Occupy Cork protesters dismantle camp". Irish Times. 
  12. ^ a b "Councillor: Occupy Cork group are 'attention seeking'". Irish Examiner. Thomas Crosbie Holdings. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 

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