Occupy Cork

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Occupy Cork
Part of the Occupy movement and anti-austerity protests in Ireland
Date From 15 October 2011 to 13 March 2012
Location Cork
Caused by 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 occupied Stapleton House after receiving the keys to the building on 25 December 2011.[2] The camp was dismantled on 13 March 2012.[3][4]


The protest at its original location had been going on for months,[5] with a camp at the junction of the Grand Parade and South Mall in the city centre since summer 2011.[6]

On 15 October 2011, simultaneous protests took place in Cork and Galway regarded by local and national media as having mimicked Occupy Wall Street (New York) and Occupy Dame Street (Dublin).[7][8] The protestors organised a number of demonstrations, including a 'teach-in' in AIB's branch on the South Mall; where a local schoolteacher held a maths class with primary school children in the front lobby of the bank, before the arrival of the police precipitated a 'recess'.[9]

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.[10] An anonymous donor reportedly left the keys to the building under the Christmas tree on Grand Parade on 25 December.[6][11] The Garda Síochána (police) visited the occupied building, and then left again soon afterwards.[2]

The building, unused since a part-demolition and refurbishment undertaken in 2008, had been cleaned by its occupiers.[6] The occupiers released an online video chronicling their takeover of the building.[12]

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 intended to open in the occupied building on Monday 23 January 2012, after an open day. The facility was 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, advisory and counselling services.[2][10][13]

The camp was dismantled on 13 March 2012.[14]


Fine Gael politician Des Cahill described the protest as "attention seeking".[15] Former Green Party senator and party chairman Dan Boyle described the manoeuver of 3 January as an "interesting development" and suggested that it was a legal and "legitimate protest".[15]

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. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Occupy Cork announces voluntary dismantling of protest camp". The Journal. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  4. ^ O'Connell, Brian (13 March 2012). "Occupy Cork protesters dismantle camp". Irish Times. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  5. ^ O'Carroll, Daniel (4 January 2012). "Occupy Cork moves camp, as local councillor calls them attention seekers - VIDEO". Irish Central. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Hayes Curtin, Brian (13 October 2011). "Occupy Cork protests to begin this Saturday". Cork Independent. Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Protests held in Dublin, Cork". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 15 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Occupy protest holds maths class in bank". Irish Examiner. 4 November 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Occupy movement takes over Cork building". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Group 'liberate' Nama building to become community centre". TheJournal.ie. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Video: Cork protesters 'liberate Nama building'". TheJournal.ie. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  13. ^ Allen, Christine (3 January 2012). "Group occupies 'NAMA' building". Cork Independent. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Occupy Cork protesters dismantle camp". Irish Times. 
  15. ^ a b "Councillor: Occupy Cork group are 'attention seeking'". Irish Examiner. Thomas Crosbie Holdings. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 

External links[edit]