Tuesday 27 September 2016

People allegedly squatting in former guesthouse warned by judge they're 'entirely there at their own risk'

Published 28/10/2015 | 15:47

The premises on Parnell Street
The premises on Parnell Street

PEOPLE allegedly squatting in a former Dublin city centre guesthouse have been warned by a judge they are "entirely there at their own risk".

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The building, 76-78 Parnell Street, is being used as a cafe and social club called the Barricade Inn, the High Court heard.

It has been occupied by up to 30 people since last March but is in an "extremely dangerous" condition, according to its owners who want orders that those unlawfully there leave.

The case was adjourned by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan after he accepted an argument from a solicitor representing the only person to appear before the court to answer the injunction application, a James Cleaver, that there was no evidence as to who the directors of a company asserting ownership are.

The case was brought against a number of unknown persons by Mary Bergin, executrix of the estate of the owner of the guesthouse, Ellen McGuill, who died in 2002.  It was also brought by a company called Vandelure Ltd which holds the freehold interest in the property.

The property had been vacant for many years after Mrs McGuill's death.

Counsel for Ms Bergin and Vandelure said the late Mrs McGuill was a shareholder in the company and Ms Bergin, as executrix, is also a member of the company.  This was sufficient to give her standing to bring the case.

Mr Justice Gilligan said he would put the matter back for the issue of directorships of the company to be dealt with.

He added Ms Bergin's affidavit made it clear there were very serious concerns about people being on the property which is in an unsafe condition and has been interfered with.   It was not insured, nor was it possible to obtain insurance, Ms Bergin had said.

The judge said anyone now on the premises had been put on notice as to that fact and they are now "entirely there at their own risk".

When the solicitor for Mr Cleaver said his instructions were that the conditions were "not that dramatic", the judge replied: "That is all very well until there is an accident".

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