Housing activist says he was injured in occupation protest

Student says he was injured as he was being arrested outside Dublin property

Activist Conor Reddy, who sustained a concussion and neck injuries during his arrest while protesting removal of occupants from North Frederick St

Activist Conor Reddy, who sustained a concussion and neck injuries during his arrest while protesting removal of occupants from North Frederick St

 

A protester claims was injured after activists were removed from a Dublin city centre property they had been occupying for the last three weeks .

Protestors had occupied the property, 34 North Frederick St, in defiance of a High Court order to vacate the building.

On Tuesday evening a number of men wearing black balaclavas gained entry to the building using an angle grinder and a sledgehammer. The Department of Justice said the men were from a private firm acting for the owner of the premises. They were regaining possession on foot of a court order . Gardaí from the public order unit attended the scene, to separate the masked men securing the property from activists protesting in front of the building.

Conor Reddy (23) a Trinity College Dublin student involved in the group behind the occupation, “Take Back the City”, said he was injured as he was being arrested, during the protest outside the property.

“One of the other activists proposed we sit down on the road in protest,” Mr Reddy told The Irish Times. He said he stepped out onto the road and got involved in a confrontation with three to four gardaí.

He claimed the gardai took him to the ground and said he was resisting arrest.

In total six individuals were arrested on public order offences by gardaí during the protest.

After he was released from Store Street Garda station late on Tuesday night, Mr Reddy said he sought medical attention in the Mater Hospital. “I had a soft tissue injury on my neck, and a concussion,” Mr Reddy said.

He described the protestors actions to demonstrate on the road as “peaceful but disruptive,” and said the group were not trying to be violent.

No gardaí were involved in removing individuals from the property.

A spokesman for the gardaí said “An Garda Síochána respects the right of people to protest peacefully.” The Garda press office could not comment on individual arrests, the spokesman said.

“An Garda Síochána’s role at such events is to facilitate peaceful protest while protecting the rights of individuals to do their lawful work safely – in this case carrying out an order of the High Court. Our objective with any such operation is to ensure the safety of the public,” the spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said no gardaí were involved in removing people from the property. “The repossession was carried out by a private firm acting for the owner of the premises. A Garda public order unit was deployed in order to prevent other persons from entering the building while the repossession was being conducted.”