THE BANK bailout has cost the 4.5 million in the Republic €16,000 each, but only three of them were prepared to brave yesterday’s wind and rain to take part in a Halloween protest outside the Central Bank on Dublin’s Dame St.
The zombie protest was organised by Luke Eastwood from Wexford, and he cut a lonely figure as he arrived on the steps on the Central Bank at the stroke of midday carrying a placard and dressed like a zombie called Ivor Bailout. He admitted his protest had echoes of the Down With This Sort of Thing episode of Father Ted, in which the priests of Craggy Island chain themselves to railings outside the local cinema in protest at a screening of The Passion of St Tibulus, but he insisted his demonstration was no laughing matter.
I am a bit disappointed by the turnout, he said. But I am not surprised. I think people are burnt out and I think they are apathetic. I think they have been sedated by Fair City and Coronation Street.
He was prompted to stage the event after AIB’s most recent payout to unsecured bondholders was followed almost immediately by its announcement that it was raising the interest rates on its standard variable rate mortgages by half a per cent.
The banks have been bailed out by us but they are not doing anything to help anyone. The public have been shafted and now they feel hopeless and I think they have lost the will to fight.”
Emer Burke from Kilkenny was the second protester on the scene. She was there to make a statement. “People have been listening to the Government. We have been told there is nothing that can be done and it is the way it is so we should get back in our box.”
She gestured towards the Central Bank. “I don’t doubt that they are in there laughing at us. But I think it is important to say you did something, that at least you tried to make a difference.”