Major Irish firm CRH divests from Israel’s cement industry

CRH has admitted that cement from its Israeli affilitate was probably used in the apartheid wall. 

Issam Rimawii APA images

One of Ireland’s largest companies has divested from Israel after coming under sustained pressure from Palestine solidarity activists.

In a statement, the Dublin-based building materials firm CRH confirmed that it has disposed of its Israeli assets.

For more than a decade, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign has been urging CRH to cease its Israeli activities. Martin O’Quigley, the IPSC’s chairperson, described CRH’s announcement as an “important victory for Palestinians” living under Israeli occupation.

O’Quigley criticized CRH for taking so long to end its “shameful investment” but added that the decision was “better late than never.”


CRH is the second largest company in Ireland, according to a 2015 survey by The Irish Times.

It held 25 percent of the shares in Mashav, owner of Israel’s top cement manufacturer Nesher.

In 2004, CRH admitted that in “all probability” Nesher cement was used during the construction of Israel’s wall in the West Bank. The construction of that wall on occupied Palestinian land was declared illegal that year by the International Court of Justice.

Nesher cement has also been used in constructing Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in the light rail network serving Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem

CRH is the latest major corporation to divest from Israel. The French firms Veolia and Orange have both taken similar decisions in the recent past.

Firms seeking to profit from Israel’s apartheid system have received a great deal of negative publicity because of the growing Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The brand image of Israel has become “increasingly toxic,” said O’Quigley. “It appears that international companies are eventually learning that it doesn’t pay to do business with the apartheid state.”




BDS is coming together now and that is a good thing, indeed. All praise to Ireland for doing what world giant America will not do: punish Israel for their savage occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people on their own lands.


Well done to the dedicated volunteers of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. This victory shows what can be accomplished in even a small country on behalf of Palestinian rights. The divestment took years to bring about, but the outcome was worth all that time and effort.

All over the world local groups and communities are mobilising against apartheid and Israeli militarism. Let's all carry BDS into the future.


I rather think the FoI will not choose to call attention to this event, as it points to the BDS's success and cannot well be manipulated into seeming antisemitism. Perhaps activists in France, fearing arrest for advocating BDS, can at least point to this event with pride (and advance BDS by indirection).


The proud Irish people are no strangers to the Palestinian predicament! Thank you

Adri Nieuwhof

Adri Nieuwhof's picture

Adri Nieuwhof is a human rights advocate based in the Netherlands and former anti-apartheid activist at the Holland Committee on Southern Africa. Twitter: @steketeh