The protest group Ballyhea Says No has called for a special Oireachtas committee to be established to take up their campaign against the bank debt taken on by Irish State following the ECB-IMF bailout.

Group organiser Diarmuid O'Flynn said they are asking the Dáil to set up a cross-party committee "to take this fight to Europe on behalf of the Irish people". 

Representatives of the group appeared before the Oireachtas Finance Committee today. Mr O'Flynn told the committee that there had been much coverage in the last few weeks of Anglo Irish Bank and events in the build-up to the banking crisis in Ireland, but no coverage of the ongoing consequences of those events. 

On the Anglo Irish Bank Promissory Notes, Mr O'Flynn said 31bn in total would be destroyed by the Central Bank of Ireland as a result. 

"The debt is real. The interest that we are paying is real. And the suffering and the deprivation of services here is real as a result. That money that the NTMA had and gave to the Central Bank could have been used for other issues here. But they have chosen instead to destroy the money," Mr O'Flynn said. 

"This to me is an obscenity. That at a time when our services are struggling for finance we are destroying money. Billions." Mr O'Flynn said.

The weekly protest first began in the north Cork village of Ballyhea in March 2011, when local man Diarmuid O'Flynn began voicing his opposition to the payments and was joined by up to 40 others.  

The group organised a weekly protest which continued every weekend, alternating with the nearby town of Charleville.

In 2016, after five years of weekly protests, the group decided to focus on bringing the campaign to a wider level.  They have also taken their protest to other cities and towns, including Brussels and the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt.

"We went to Brussels three times and met senior officials from all three major EU institutions - the Commission, the Council and the Parliament; went to Frankfurt to the ECB HQ and presented a petition to a meeting of the Governing Council, 'nailed' our own list of protests to the door, in the manner of Martin Luther over 300 years earlier," he said. 

The group has also met senior ECB officials in Dublin, and the Governor of the Irish Central Bank on three separate occasions and had a Private Members Motion introduced in the Dáil.