The Anglo: Not Our Debt campaign has called on the shareholders of Bank of Ireland not to be complicit with the government’s “scam” regarding the payment of the most recent Anglo Irish Bank promissory note of €3.1 billion.

Speaking outside today’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of Bank of Ireland to discuss the issue, campaign spokesperson Marie Moran said that “the government was playing tricks with the Irish people – the promissory note payment was made by state-owned NAMA on 31stMarch, and not deferred as the government claimed; the government lent NAMA the money to do this and now NAMA wants to pass the loan onto Bank of Ireland”. She called on shareholders not to participate in this “trickery and sleight of hand”.

Also speaking on behalf of the campaign, Niamh McCrea pointed to the fact that Bank of Ireland is “85% privately owned and stands to make over €38 million in interest on this transaction, another example of public money being transferred to private banks, which is a particular travesty when the debt is illegitimate and should not have been paid in the first place”.

Community activist Cathleen O’Neill pointed to the fact the government is currently proposing to cut the €1,700 respite allowance for carers of people with disabilities – “the interest payment alone on this deal would pay for over 20,000 respite allowances; why should money be taken from the most vulnerable in Irish society and handed over to bank shareholders? We call on the shareholders to do the decent thing and not seek to make money at the expense of the poorest in Irish society”.

At the protest outside the EGM at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoighre, the Anglo: Not Our Debt campaign set up a stall where an actor dressed as a clown moved the promissory note and the loan used to pay it between three different shells – marked Anglo, NAMA and Bank of Ireland – to symbolise what they described as the sneaky, yet buffoonish, way the government had sought to handle the issue.

An infographic of the proposed deal is available here

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