People Before Profit TDs Gino Kenny, Richard Boyd Barrett and Bríd Smith have written to the head of Bank of Ireland demanding an explanation for the banks closure of the accounts of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC). The bank had cited “risks” due to the area from which the group’s activity is based i.e. Palestine.
Gino Kenny said: “This is clearly an attack on an advocacy group’s right to campaign and function, we are asking the bank if there has been any communication with the Israeli embassy or officials, or if any group has influenced them in this decision and on what basis such an outrageous decision could be arrived at.”
Richard Boyd Barrett added: “It is ironic that the bank cites “risks” when the group are, in reality, dealing with minuscule amounts of money and have never had any credit issues. This is coming from a bank that the state had to recapitalise to the tune of €4.7 billion not too long ago because of its utterly reckless behavior. Perhaps they should assess risks a bit differently in the future.”
Bríd Smith said the TDs would be demanding that the bank reverse its decision saying, “it is clearly a political decision and a very sinister one at that. We will be questioning this and I would urge BoI to reverse it immediately. The IPSC is a legitimate and well respected campaigning group that has done great work highlighting the impact of Israeli sanctions and violence on vulnerable Palestinians. The fact that they also support the boycott and divestment campaign is I suspect the real motive behind this attack”