AT 4:30 AM on Wednesday the 16th of May, members of the Occupy Galway movement were forcibly removed from their position at Eyre Square in Galway City Centre. It had been the last remaining “Occupy” encampment in Ireland.
Galway City Council have since issued a statement in defence of their actions:
‘An Garda Síochána with the support of Galway City Council staff took action to remove the Occupy Galway encampment because it had been erected without the Council’s consent and, despite being requested to do so, the occupiers had refused to leave voluntarily. The occupation was therefore illegal. The Elected Members of the Council had also called for the ending of the occupation.
Members of the wider public have been denied the use of part of a public amenity by this occupation for several months. Structures erected on the plaza in Eyre Square created a risk to the safety of the occupiers themselves and to others.
Galway City Council fully respects the right of any person or group to engage in lawful protest. City Council has facilitated, and will continue to facilitate, groups who wish to protest lawfully at Eyre Square. The Occupy Now encampment was an occupation of a public amenity that is not permitted under the law.’
The Occupy Galway movement will meet at a later date to discuss strategy.