Group occupies ‘NAMA’ building
A number of Occupy Cork members in the city have today announced plans to create a community resource building in the city centre, which is set to open on 23 January.
The group has claimed that the building it has occupied is a National Asset Management Agency site, stating the group had “liberated a NAMA property”.
Members of the group gained access to the six-storey property and remain on site, claiming that they will be applying for public liability insurance so they can open it to the public.
The building on Oliver Plunkett Street is known as Stapleton House and the office and retail space is for let through estate agent Sherry FitzGerald.
The letting agent outlines that “Stapleton House is a unique landmark development in the heart of Cork's retail and commercial district. This iconic 25,000 sq.ft. six floor development will achieve a powerful presence in the bustling urban centre of Cork.
“Accessed from a highly finished entrance hall, the offices provide complete flexibility, whilst the unique glazed exterior, high tech systems and finishes create one of the most modern working environments in Cork's commercial district.”
Spokesman, Liam Mulvaney, said “On Christmas morning a box was found under the tree on the Grand Parade with a key to the building along with instructions that this building is a gift to the people of Cork, to be used by them for the empowerment and enlivening of the communities of Cork”.
He said the new centre would include a pop-up charity café, an alternative music school and recording space and a health, healing and nutrition space, as well as a library and bookshop, free public internet access and open spaces for training and educational purposes and skill sharing.
He added the building would also house free counselling and suicide prevention services, as well as a community crèche.
“Most importantly this building will be used as a true civic space, run by the people, for the people with the resources that belong to the people. Although previously held by NAMA, this building now is returned to the public.
“Facilities such as this should not remain derelict eyesores, but should be resources with which we can rejuvenate our communities and inspire people to take control of their own home places.”
Meanwhile, anonymous blogger NAMA Wine Lake has asked whether or not the occupation of the building is costing NAMA €1,000 per day and questions the ownership of the site.