Comhlámh condemns Bank of Ireland attack on civil society organisations.
Comhlámh condemns in the strongest terms the actions of Bank of Ireland in shutting down the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) account and calls on Bank of Ireland to immediately reinstate the account.
It remains a mystery as to precisely why Bank of Ireland has decided to shut the IPSC bank even after the IPSC has provided full and complete transparency around its accounts and governance. Continued silence from the bank means no meaningful explanation has been provided to the IPSC or the wider civil society sector in Ireland.
A cornerstone of progressing human rights, and upending inequalities wherever these happen, is the idea and practice of solidarity. Supporting and fostering civil society activism is an essential part of democracy within and across borders.
Bank of Ireland’s refusal to restore IPSC’s accounts regretfully leads us to the view that this is an attack on civil society organising in Ireland. Bank of Ireland actions are a direct and deliberate interference in the practice of international solidarity and human rights work. That one of the largest financial institutions in Ireland is willing to make political decisions designed to interfere with human rights work should be matter of great concern across our entire sector.
Comhlámh understands that not everyone is supportive of a growing global BDS campaign – however such actions are legitimate actions and lawfully undertaken under national and international human rights law. Pressure to shut down financial services to organisations working to promote and defend human rights is a clear infringement of international human rights law.
We hope that Bank of Ireland will come to it senses and reinstate IPSC accounts forthwith.
Comhlámh will work to support the ISPC in ensuring that its accounts will be re-opened and will engage its members and wider civil society networks including shareholder activist groups to achieve same.