Tuesday 17 September 2019

Residents band together to restore homes in bid to prevent eviction in Dublin

The residents of three properties say they are effectively homeless, but will work over the next two weeks to bring the flats up to standard.

A boarded up building in Seville Place (Brian Lawless/PA)
A boarded up building in Seville Place (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Aoife Moore, PA

More than 60 people due to be evicted have banded together to restore three properties to prevent becoming homeless.

Residents in 100, 101 and 104 Seville Place in Dublin’s north inner city, including 15 children, had eviction notices pasted on their front doors last month.

A High Court case on Tuesday heard that major fire safety concerns had been given as the main reason for tenants to be removed.

Justice Garrett Simons adjourned the case for two weeks, but said the orders to vacate the buildings remain.

The AIB-appointed receiver of the buildings, Grant Thornton, wants to sell the properties.

Court proceedings will resume on September 24 to give residents a chance to put forward evidence in opposition to the orders.

The residents of all three properties, which are divided into flats, say they are now effectively homeless, but will work in the next two weeks to bring the properties up to standard, despite not being furnished with lists of the fire safety issues.

Residents and groups representing them say no politicians have contacted them during their battle against homelessness.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald are both TDs for the area.

ipanews_bf40cc22-52ba-4716-83c8-5e97bb6532a4_embedded244522883
Paschal Donohoe (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Miroslava, 34, a single parent, spent most of Tuesday cleaning and painting 104 Seville Place’s main entryway with her father.

She has lived in Seville Place with her 15-year-old daughter for six years.

“I was at a funeral at home in Slovakia, and returned to Dublin, off the plane and went straight to court yesterday,” she said.

“Now, what’s the plan? The plan is, like everybody else we have nowhere to go, so we’re going to fix the house, fix the fire alarm, painting, cleaning, we have to try.

“We have no itemised list of what to fix, even though we asked for it, so we’re doing all we can do.

“It’s just me and my daughter, and there are two other families in this block with children as well.”

ipanews_bf40cc22-52ba-4716-83c8-5e97bb6532a4_embedded244391594
Mary Lou McDonald (Liam McBurney/PA)

Speaking about the lack of available accommodation during the worst homelessness crisis in the history of the state, Miroslava became upset.

“The thought of a hostel or homeless accommodation, it’s not good for kids, you know, so we’re doing all we can,” she added.

“I tried to hide it from my daughter at first, but the case was in the news and she found out.

“I asked her if she’ll be OK, she’s a very good student at school, and she had a friend who lived in emergency accommodation who told her what it was like, and she doesn’t want to go to that, she was upset, so for her I have to fight.

“I’ve started looking for somewhere else but no one wants a mother and daughter on our own, there is nowhere for us.”

Miroslava said she attempted to pay rent to Grant Thornton but they have refused to take any payment from the tenants.

“We didn’t even receive a letter for each tenant, it was just pasted to the main door on August 7 that we had to leave.

“The first fire inspectors who arrived a few days later told me the property wasn’t too bad.

“I opened the door on August 28 and a new fire inspector was standing on the step and said, ‘Oh are you still here? You were supposed to be out on 23 August.

“So now, we have two weeks before they send more inspectors, we’re doing all we can.”

A spokesman for Mr Donohoe said he is aware of the situation in “Seville Palace” but had not been contacted in relation to the matter, although he will do all he can to assist if he is contacted.

Ms McDonald said that those impacted in Seville Place should be accommodated and taken care of.

“I have been in touch with Dublin City Council in this regard,” she added.

“No one should be made homeless because of a failure to rein in slum landlords.

“What we see in Seville Place is an indictment of a government that prioritises the interests of landlords over the basic right to a roof over your head.”

There are 10,275 adults and children living in emergency accommodation in Ireland, 3,778 of whom are children.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section