‘Squat party’ may go ahead despite High Court being told it wouldn’t

‘If 300 people come, we couldn’t not open the door to them,’ says resident

Mountjoy Square, Dublin. Earlier this week, a bank-appointed receiver over 31 Mountjoy Square East, where a party was supposed to take place, had asked the High Court for an injunction preventing the event from going ahead. Photograph: Alan Betson

Mountjoy Square, Dublin. Earlier this week, a bank-appointed receiver over 31 Mountjoy Square East, where a party was supposed to take place, had asked the High Court for an injunction preventing the event from going ahead. Photograph: Alan Betson

Fri, Aug 2, 2013, 09:54

A weekend-long “squat party” advertised on Facebook for a Dublin city centre property this weekend may still go ahead, despite the High Court being told it was cancelled.

Earlier this week a bank-appointed receiver over 31 Mountjoy Square East, where the proposed party may take place, had asked the High Court for an injunction preventing the event from going ahead.

The receiver, Sean McNamara, also sought orders against several named individuals claiming to reside at the property, including one seeking vacant possession of the building.

The court heard the squat party, which comprised of “two stages of the biggest sounds in drum and bass, reggae, jungle, dub and psychetrance” was scheduled to begin tonight and run until Monday morning.

When the matter came before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan yesterday he was told the party had been cancelled, and that an agreement had been reached about vacating the premises.

Lawyers acting for the receiver, Mr McNamara, of Smith and Williamson Freaney Ltd, brought proceedings against 10 residents over concerns he had about the party as well as difficulties he had in taking possession of the building.

One of the residents Wayne Finane (21) said they had agreed to officially cancel the party’s Facebook page, which they have done, but that word of mouth had spread.

“If 300 people come over the weekend, we couldn’t not open the door to them. We wouldn’t be breaking the law. We agreed to cancel the party online and we did,” he said.

“To be honest, most of the people found out about the party through being told in person and not through the internet. There was going to be a lot of people here on the Saturday. That was going to be the big night. A lot of people know about it.

“I wouldn’t be overly disappointed if no one shows up. I’m happy either way.”

The people living in the property range in age from 20 to 32.

Mr Finane, originally from Blanchardstown, said that the group living there have not paid any rent for a long period of time, but have paid for the property’s upkeep.

Mr McNamara was appointed receiver over the four-storey over basement house last April, after the owner had failed to satisfy a demand by Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank for repayment of a loan of €2.48m.

The building, which formed part of security for the loan, contains nine one bedroom units. The court heard the building is in a poor state of repair, with an overflowing sewerage system. The interior was covered in graffiti, and parts of the building have been vandalised.

Rubbish had been piled almost two metres high in the basement at the front of the building. Gardai had informed the receiver that last May a cannabis growing facility was found in the basement of the building and several arrests had been made.

Barrister Rory Mulcahy, counsel for the receiver, said his client had serious concerns the property could be damaged by the proposed party, which he had been informed only within the last 24 hours was cancelled.