Squatters must leave Dublin 7 cottage within four weeks
Siblings living in Australia intend to sell Phibsborough house left to them by an aunt
A group, including Seán Fitzgerald (pictured), had illegally taken up occupation of the property on Shamrock Street in Dublin 7. Photograph: Collins Courts.
A group squatting in a Dublin 7 cottage, owned by a sister and brother who live in Australia, have been told by a judge to quit the property within the next four weeks.
Owen Donnelly, counsel for the siblings, said that an undertaking had been given on behalf of the group to leave the cottage. He said retired nurse Lorraine Lyons and businessman Peter Harte were prepared to give them a month to do so.
Mr Donnelly said the cottage on Shamrock Street, Phibsborough was left to the siblings by their aunt who used to live there.
The property had lain vacant for some time as title deeds could not be found and ownership had to be legally reconstructed, the court heard.
He said the couple wanted to sell the cottage now as house prices were on the rise and agents acting on their behalf had been unable to gain access to prepare the property for sale.
The group, including Seán Fitzgerald, had illegally taken up occupation of the property.
Ms Lyons, of Kangaroo Point, Sylvania, Sydney, in a sworn statement told the court she and her brother were seeking to recover vacant possession.
In September 2016, they learned that the locks on the house had been changed and squatters had taken residence.
Mr Donnelly said the squatters had received warning letters but had refused to move out.
Judge Linnane said Mr Fitzgerald seemed to be a businessman with an email address connected to Ballad Tours, Dublin.
Mr Fitzgerald, who represented himself and described himself as being homeless and without any money, told the court he was speaking on behalf of everyone in the property and they had all undertaken to leave. He asked for a month to facilitate their finding somewhere to live.
Judge Linnane granted Ms Lyons and Mr Harte an interlocutory injunction, stayed for four weeks, directing Mr Fitzgerald and anyone else in the property or anyone with knowledge of the making of the court order to give up possession.
She also restrained Mr Fitzgerald and his co-squatters from preventing or obstructing agents of the Australian siblings from taking possession of the cottage and directed that keys for the locks be passed to the agents concerned.