Dangerous property with dozens of alleged squatters described as ‘another Stardust’ waiting to happen

Court told group staying in building on Belvedere Place in Dublin are trespassing after entering by unlawful means

Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain adjourned the proceedings until Friday to allow the respondents to find legal representation. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien

A lawyer representing a landlord who is seeking to have more than two dozen alleged squatters removed from his Dublin property has told a court the situation there could be “on the level of another Stardust” were a fire to happen.

Barrister Joe Jackson made the comment as he told the Circuit Civil Court the group of 29 people, including 15 or more children, have been living in what was described as a very dangerous building. The property is divided into 10 flats.

When Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain adjourned the proceedings until Friday to allow the respondents present in court, who are from Romania, to find a lawyer, Mr Jackson said they would have to keep their fingers crossed that nothing happened in the meantime.

The judge said she had read the papers in the case but the people staying in the property, who had appeared to contest an injunction by the landlord to remove them from his premises, were entitled to time to find legal representation.


In an affidavit outlining his situation, landlord Mel Kilrane, a retired solicitor from Henry Street, Bailieborough, Co Cavan, said he had bought the property at 9 Belvedere Place in 2009 and had 10 tenancy facilities in the building.

He told the court the people staying there had no right of occupation and were trespassing after having entered it by unlawful means.

Mr Kilrane said he had been directed by Dublin City Council to remove deleterious waste from the building but workmen had been forcibly prevented from entering the premises.

“There is an imminent danger of serious injury or death from fire of the defendants including the children,” Mr Kilrane said in an affidavit.

He also said there was also a serious health risk to all of the people involved because they were allowing human excrement accumulate on the property.