Una Mullally: How long will it be until something kicks off as anger grows on Dublin’s streets?

Squat evictions and Cobblestone and Science Gallery plans among factors fanning flames

News broke on Thursday that the Science Gallery, an Irish success story, is to close. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

News broke on Thursday that the Science Gallery, an Irish success story, is to close. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Let’s talk about one week in Dublin city. Last Wednesday, a group of men arrived at a mostly derelict yard on Prussia Street in Stoneybatter in Dublin to evict people who were seeking to both live in it, and transform the site into a community resource. The nascent squat, known as Sunnyvale, or That Social Centre, had flown under the radar since the site was occupied in September, when the collective posted a message on social media: “We have occupied an empty corner of Stoneybatter. Houses, warehouses, caravans, buddleia [butterfly bush], and wide open space. What more could you want? It’s time once again to take a space that has been left to rot by profiteers, and turn it into a place of energy, community and resistance. We want to make the space as open as possible and would like to encourage its use by groups working towards radical change, members of the local community, and projects that have a social function.”

Their quiet community aspirations – they hosted bike repair workshops with tea and cake available – were literally smashed. Over the course of the day, more and more gardaí arrived, as did supporters who had seen extraordinary videos of the eviction on social media. A garda helicopter was flying overhead as I looked through a hole in the gate at the entrance of the yard. Inside, men who had apparently carried out the eviction wandered around aimlessly.

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