We bailed out BoI, let’s have their HQ
A city councillor has called for Bank of Ireland to give its historic headquarters on College Green to the Irish people, in return for bailing it out. Cllr Nial Ring said, after the money Bank of Ireland had received from the tax payer, the “magnificent” and historical asset should be handed over, even by way of lease or loan.
He told the Herald: “In light of the amount they got from NAMA and with them reducing staff numbers, it’s only basically used now as a branch. I want to ask them if there’s any possibility they could give it to the people of Ireland. “It would be something which could act as a gesture from Bank of Ireland — it’s a magnificent building.”
Cllr Ring is proposing to ask Dublin City Council or the Taoiseach to take the matter up with Bank of Ireland, and to develop the building into an exhibition space or museum. Alternatively he said Minister for Tourism Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin, or Finance Minister Brian Lenihan could act on behalf of the Irish people.
Senator David Norris, who previously proposed that the building be used to house the Senate, said he supported the call. “The people of Ireland now own the banks, and the banks have swindled the people of Ireland. Bank of Ireland should come into public ownership.”
He added: “The whole Bank of Ireland is a protected structure so it would be absolute nonsense to suggest that the Abbey goes in there, but I’d be all in favour of an exhibition or a museum.”