Having floated the idea back in February, Irish Life Assurance – which now owns the headquarters – has applied to Dublin City Council to transform a former branch at the building into a coffee shop. If successful, there will be baristas handling the cash, instead of bean counters. A firm owned by Irish Life Assurance wants permission to put a coffee shop at the ground floor that will extend over 190sqm and to convert 230sqm of the basement level into toilets, an office and storage space for the outlet.
While the firm owned by Irish Life Assurance – Stephen’s Court Ltd – told the council in December that it was interested in having a coffee shop at the former bank HQ, it was told that it would have to apply for formal planning permission. That application has just been lodged. The retail branch at the bank’s former headquarters became an iconic and doom-laden backdrop for television crews and press photographers from around the world as Ireland finalised its bailout in 2010. Bailout The ‘Anglo Irish Bank’ signage at the front of the building was removed in 2011 and is now in the National Museum.
Brand expert Gerard Tannam, of consultancy Islandbridge, said there were “risks and opportunities” for any firm that opens a coffee shop at the location. He explained: “There’s a lot of anger still directed towards Anglo and you would need to be careful, but there would be scope for some black humour.” He also said a coffee shop operator could capitalise on ethically sourced products, juxtaposing them with Anglo. Anglo Irish Bank, whose name was later changed to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) after it was nationalised and also incorporated Irish Nationwide, cost the taxpayer €35bn to bail out. The Government announced the liquidation of IBRC in February after it had secured a deal in Europe on promissory notes. Source: Irish Independent