Sunday 22 January 2017

Anti-eviction protesters take over courthouse

David Raleigh

Published 07/05/2016 | 02:30

Protesters talk to gardaí outside the court Photo: Brendan Gleeson
Protesters talk to gardaí outside the court Photo: Brendan Gleeson

There were chaotic scenes at Limerick Circuit Civil Court as anti-eviction protesters took over the court and forced it to abandon the hearing of 170 home repossession orders.

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County Registrar, Pat Wallace, who was hearing the cases, had to vacate the bench twice after protesters approached him shouting.

They claimed the repossession courts were "not legitimate" and one protester shouted that it was "a kangaroo court".

Mr Wallace left to jeers from a crowd of around 150 people who had packed inside the court. Around 30 Garda officers, including armed units, were deployed to the scene, which descended into chaos. Anti-eviction protesters refused to leave the court and formed a mock judge and jury.

They declared all of the cases to be thrown out - to cheers from the crowd.

One solicitor present, Ger O'Neill, who has represented dozens of people facing repossession, said that the protesters had gone too far.

"This is intimidation and harassment of the gardaí, the County Registrar and the solicitors and the lawyers," Mr O'Neill said.

Gardaí removed a number of protesters and others eventually left - and then performed a mock funeral procession through the city centre.

Irish Independent

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