Dublin eviction abandoned as tension with protesters threatens to turn violent

Nadia Hattaoui resists an attempt to evict herself her mother in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Nadia Hattaoui resists an attempt to evict herself her mother in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Alan Betson


Efforts to evict a 63-year-old cancer patient and her daughter from their home were abandoned yesterday as tensions between protesters and officials threatened to spill into violence.

A decision tohalt the operation was made on humanitarian grounds after paramedics advised officials that the tenant’s condition was too serious.

Brida Hattaoui was in the property on Susanville Road near Croke Park, Dublin, which she shares with her daughter Nadia (31), as a crowd of supporters gathered outside and gardaí provided support to the sheriff’s officers.

The impasse lasted for about an hour and a half with a single protester manning the hallway and threatening to assault anyone who tried to gain entry.

The Hattaouis had been ordered to leave the redbrick terraced property by order of the Circuit Court last July but say they have nowhere else to go.

“I need justice; I want her just to be safe,” Ms Hattaoui said of her mother, who is suffering from a form of skin cancer and is confined to a bedroom on the ground floor.

60 years

“We don’t want to stay. My mother has been in this house for 60 years and she looked after her mother,” she added.

“I have lived here for 30 years and to be treated like this, I don’t know how this could be.”

The eviction proceedings follow a family dispute over the sale of the property. It is understood that the occupants had previously agreed to leave but had not done so and that they had been given a sum of money to assist them in 2006.

However, Nadia Hattaoui said her mother was too ill to be turned out with nowhere to go and efforts to date to secure social housing had been unsuccessful.

Sheriff James Barry, aware of Ms Hattaoui’s illness, had called an ambulance to the scene and paramedics were permitted entry.

“[Her health] was taken into account. On reading the situation from the ambulance personnel I decided to leave the property,” he said.

Order remains in place

The order remains in place and the option exists for the women to apply to the courts to overturn it, he said.

A previous encounter at the property last October, when officials had gained entry, ended quickly once the frail condition of Ms Hattaoui became apparent. The sheriff is obliged to enforce eviction orders without delay, even where that means making a forced entry.