Occupy Dame Street

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Occupy Dame Street
Part of the Occupy movement and anti-austerity protests in Ireland
Occupiers Camp on Dame Street, Dublin, 19th of December 2011.JPG
The entrance to Occupy Dame Street's "Tent Town" on 19 December 2011
DateFrom 8 October 2011 to 8 March 2012
Caused byEconomic inequality, corporate influence over government, Populism, inter alia.

Occupy Dame Street or Occupy Dublin was a peaceful protest[1] and demonstration against economic inequality, social injustice and corporate greed taking place outside the Central Bank of Ireland plaza on Dame Street in Dublin, beside the Temple Bar area of the city. Part of the global Occupy movement, it took its name from the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City's Wall Street financial district. Occupy Dame Street had four requests: the withdrawal of the EU/IMF from Ireland, an end to public ownership of private debt, the return to public ownership of Ireland's privatised oil and gas reserves, and the implementation of what the movement describes as "real participatory democracy".[2] The national police force, Garda Síochána, dismantled their camp during a late-night raid on 8 March 2012. The protesters vowed to fight on[3]. Some were never heard of again, while others found other channels of protest. The most detailed account and analysis of events was written by Helena Sheehan. [4]



Occupy Dame Street Camp in November 2011

The movement started with an online Facebook and Twitter campaign. The occupation began on 8 October 2011, a Saturday afternoon, initially with around 60 protesters who set up camp in tents outside the Central Bank's head office on Dame Street.[1][5][6] The tents were attached to each other and were not pegged to the concrete as that would not be permitted.[2] A free Wi-Fi connection was established anonymously in the first days of the movement.[2] The original group was then joined by further people during the days that followed.[2] Around 1,000 people passed through the encampment from the afternoon of 8 October and the afternoon of 11 October.[2] On 22 October, a demonstration in Dublin city centre organised by the group was reported to have over 2,000 in attendance, including English left-wing activist and alternative rock musician Billy Bragg.[7][8]

On 12 November 2011, organisers of the movement marched from the Garden of Remembrance at Parnell Square to their "Tent Town" outside the Central Bank.[9] In mid-November 2011, the Central Bank of Ireland announced it would seek a court order to put an end to the protest taking place outside its headquarters.[10]

The group gained the support of Irish musicians Christy Moore, Damien Dempsey and Glen Hansard, who all played separately at the group's "Tent Town" on 8, 23 and 24 December respectively.[11][12][13]


An Occupy Dame Street sign was present outside Dáil Éireann as the Irish government delivered its latest crippling budget on 6 December 2011.

The group began their 'Occupy Nama' strategy, whereby group members non-violently occupy NAMA owned buildings for a brief period of time, usually until the intervention of Garda Síochána[14]

Authorities requested the protesters to postpone the camp for the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. Parade Grand Marshal Johnny Giles also suggested the protest move for the parade.[15]

Until March 2012, Occupy Dame Street continued to engage in organised meetings, events and actions.[16] Occupy Dame Street's camp was dismantled by Gardaí in the early hours of 8 March during which time some 15 protesters affiliated with the group were present.[17] Protesters announced a demonstration at the Central Bank for later that day and vowed that the destruction of their camp does not mean their quest for justice is over.[3] on the evening of 8 March over 70 people took part in a spontaneous march from Dame Street to a nearby Garda station on Pearse Street in protest of the removal of the camp.[18]


Aubrey Robinson, the son of former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, is among the people to have participated.[6][19] The movement held assemblies at 18:00 three days per week. Occupy movement hand signals were encouraged instead of loud cheers.[2]


In 2011, local Garda Síochána described the movement as "peaceful" and "well behaved".[1][6] In March 2012, they dismantled the Occupy Dame Street camp.[3]

Dublin City Council received one complaint, but a spokeswoman said: "As it is private property, Dublin City Council has no authority to move these people". This is because the encampment is clear of the public footpath.[6]

Some local businesspeople had complained about the camp saying it affected their businesses.[20][21]

In December 2011, TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Luke 'Ming' Flanagan praised the efforts of the group in interviews to RTÉ Radio 1.[22]

On 9 October 2011, the United States Embassy in Dublin warned its citizens to avoid the area where the protest movement is occurring.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "'Occupy Dame Street' protest in Dublin". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "No plans to end 'Occupy Dame Street' protest". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Occupy Dame Street camp is cleared". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  4. ^ Sheehan, Helena (2012). ""Occupying Dublin: Considerations at the Crossroads"". Irish Left Review / Doras.
  5. ^ "Occupy Dame Street protest enters third night". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d Nihill, Cían (5 November 2011). "'Occupy Dame Street' campaign prepared for long haul". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  7. ^ People Before Profit - United Left Alliance. "Over 2,000 take part in Occupy Dame Street Demonstration | People Before Profit - United Left Alliance". Peoplebeforeprofit.ie. Archived from the original on 25 October 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  8. ^ Dublin Opinion. "Billy Bragg - Occupy Dame Street". Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Occupy Dame Street stages protest march". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Occupy Dame Street may face legal action". RTÉ News. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Christy Moore plays 'Ride On' and other tunes for 'Occupy Dame Street' in Dublin". Irish Central. Irish Central. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Glen hansard Busks at Occupy Dame Street". 98fm. 98fm. 24 December 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  13. ^ "Damien Dempsey visits Occupy Dame Street".
  14. ^ O'Connell, Brian (7 January 2012). "Occupy Nama: the protesters' latest strategy". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Giles goes back to his home turf to be named parade Grand Marshal". Irish Independent. Irish Independent. 29 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Occupy Dame Street". Occupy Dame Street. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  17. ^ "'Occupy' supporters hold protest over camp removal". The Irish Times. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  18. ^ "'Occupy' supporters hold protest over camp removal". Irish Times. Irish Times. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  19. ^ O'Connell, Edel (9 November 2011). "Child of Aras answers Ireland's call at Occupy Dame Street protest". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  20. ^ "Garda lockdown to keep protesters from Dame Street". Evening Herald. 9 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Video: Occupy Dame Street camp is cleared in early hours". Irish Independent. 8 March 2012.
  22. ^ "RTÉ Radio 1 Drivetime Interview @OccupyDameStreet Camp". Vimeo. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2011.

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