True story. Not a joke.
News is coming through of an 80-year-old man arrested and handcuffed by armed police in the Limerick branch of Anglo-Irish Bank yesterday afternoon. Staff at the bank activated a panic alarm that sent an emergency signal to Henry Street Garda station when the pensioner allegedly cycled into the bank, produced a rock from his satchel and tried to smash the bulletproof screen at the counter. That’s right. I said cycled. Within seconds, a heavily-armed squad of police arrived and wrestled the elderly man to the floor before cuffing him and leading him out of the bank and into one of the police vehicles.
It appears that the man was aggrieved because bank staff refused to give him money from a special account which requires four weeks notice of withdrawal.
He was released after seven hours of questioning.
At this point, it’s not clear whether any cruel or unusual interrogation techniques were employed to extract a confession, or whether he was waterboarded while in custody. It’s also not clear whether charges will be made against the angry pensioner, or whether the bank will give him his money on demand.
Sources report that the pensioner claims he was stripped and placed in a cell for the night before being released.
In many ways, the 80-year-old has a valid point beneath all the posturing. Ireland is insolvent, and if bondholders are going to take a 50% haircut, who’s to say that old men won’t also lose half their life savings when the government finally lets go of the ridiculous albatross that is Anglo-Irish Bank?