Protesters at vacant house in Dublin defy High Court injunction

‘All of the politicians, who claim to be for public housing . . . should be here’

Protesters at a vacant house in Dublin have remained on site despite a 2pm deadline to leave on foot of a High Court injunction.

Patricia Ní Greil, the owner of 34 North Frederick Street where the occupying action has been ongoing, was granted an injunction by Mr Justice Michael Quinn on Tuesday, which ordered that the property be vacated by 2pm on Wednesday.

Dozens of protesters from a number of homeless groups have occupied the property over the last week to highlight the city’s housing crisis.

On Wednesday afternoon, a firework was thrown into the crowd gathered outside the property. No one was injured in the incident and the firework failed to go off.

According to a Dublin Central Housing Action (DCHA) spokeswoman, the occupation, backed by numerous activist groups, began approximately two weeks ago as a roll-on action from a similar occupation at a property at Summerhill Parade, Ballybough.

The Ballybough property had also been the subject of a court order.

The DCHA spokeswoman said in addition to highlighting vacant properties in the city, the organisation wanted Dublin City Council to a compulsorily purchase vacant properties.

“The council has the ability to put one of those orders onto vacant buildings and buy them. So, we’re asking the council to CPO vacant houses across the city, so that they would be put to public housing and used for the community.”

Speaking on the recent protests and occupation of vacant houses, the spokeswoman said direct action was probably what “sparks people”.

“People tend to gravitate towards something as radical as this,” she said. prior “For us, it was about growing numbers, and it’s only gone from strength to strength. For us, we’re just going to keep going.”

The crowd chanted slogans outside the occupied property, where grievances were aired and action demanded. One woman called on Sinn Féin to act on the issue, saying, “they should be here, supporting this, and showing that they are the people who are prepared to go to jail to ensure that housing becomes a national issue”.

She also called on “all of the politicians, who claim to be for public housing to be here, supporting this protest”.