Friday 28 October 2016

Receivers for Grangegorman properties to return to High Court as alleged squatters still in occupation

Tim Healy

Published 05/05/2015 | 12:20

The courtyard of the property at the centre of the dispute.
The courtyard of the property at the centre of the dispute.

A number of people are still occupying a premises in Grangegorman, Dublin, which was the scene of an incident in March involving alleged squatters and workers sent in by a receiver to take over the buildings, the High Court heard.

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Receiver Luke Charleton is now expected to make an application seeking the committal to prison for contempt of court orders against those still in occupation.   An appeal against a March High Court decision ordering the premises be vacated is listed for May 14 in the Court of Appeal.

Last March, the court ordered the properties at Lower Grangegorman and North Brunwick Street be vacated by Monday May 4 so that Mr Charleton, who was appointed by NAMA, could sell them to meet an unpaid debt of €21.9m owed by businessman Paschal Conroy.

Three men - Stephen Bedford, James Sutherland and Gréum Ná Hearadhhad - had appeared in court to oppose the receiver's application.   But following a hearing,  Mr Justice Paul Gilligan ordered that the three, and all others with notice of the orders, vacate the buildings by May 4.

When the case returned before the judge Tuesday (May 5), he was told by Graham O'Doherty, solicitor for the receiver, that regrettably there were still a number of people in the property.

The solicitor also said that Mr Sutherland had lodged an appeal against the High Court's March order that the properties be vacated by May 4.  That case is listed for May 14 but a stay on that order pending the outcome of the appeal had not been obtained.

Mr Ná Hearadhhad said they had not applied for a stay so that they could continue talking with the receiver.

Mr Justice Gilligan said as there was no stay, the order he made in March is valid.  He also said the previous stay of more than a month on the execution on that order until Monday seemed "more than fair".

Mr O'Doherty said he would be bringing a further application arising out of the alleged failure to vacate.  

The judge said that was a matter  for the receiver but he would first have to apply to the court for permission to bring such an application at short notice.  

That would provide an opportunity over the next two or three days for negotiations to take place, he said.

The court previously heard that since they moved in, the occupants had established a garden where they grow food, run an art gallery space, cafe space, and a circus workshop.

It had been home, for some people,  for the last two years.  It was argued that by granting the receiver's application, a number of people will be homeless.

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