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Saturday 18 November 2017

Eight back at Apollo House as evictions imminent

Apollo House: eviction date. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Apollo House: eviction date. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Gavin White

Apollo House residents look set to stay past their eviction date with eight returning to the building in the past 24 hours, unhappy with the accommodation offered to them by Dublin City Council.

The Nama-controlled building was taken over by housing activists on December 15 in response to the housing crisis.

An agreement was made for the occupiers to vacate the building by today following lengthy negotiations between their representatives and Housing Minister Simon Coveney.

But today, Apollo House activists will apply for a last-minute court intervention to delay homeless residents being moved out of the Nama-controlled building.

The group has until midday to vacate the building, as ordered by a high court judge.

Last night they held a "leaving party" for residents inside the Tara Street premises.

Tommy Gavin from campaigners Home Sweet Home said counsel would seek a stay of execution this morning.

"There are around 20 people here at the moment. Part of our agreement with the Government was that we wouldn't be taking in new residents.

"[We're] seeking a stay on the injunction, a continuation of stay. That is if the immediate long-term needs aren't met by 12pm."

A spokesperson for DCC said it "already supported 68 persons out of Apollo House, and is progressing the move on of the remaining 18".

But Tommy Gavin said: "Eight residents have returned to Apollo House in the past 24 hours distressed that the accommodation offered to them by DCC was completely unsuitable to their needs.

"Drugs and alcohol were being used in the facilities offered, which represents a clear failure to meet the specific needs of those residents, and constitutes a failure to meet the terms of the agreement.

"We are perfectly willing to act in good faith as long as the other side are too."

Irish Independent

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