Housing groups occupying vacant Dublin building say they're overwhelmed by public support
A collection of Dublin based housing groups who have occupied a building in Dublin city centre have said they are overwhelmed by the generosity and support they received on their first night in the property.
Following a protest on O'Connell Street yesterday more than 100 demonstrators marched to Summerhill in the north inner city where they took over a vacant house on Summerhill Parade.
It is understood around seven housing groups, including Dublin Renters Union and Dublin Central Housing Action, organised the occupation.
“The first night went well and we had a rota of sleeping and keeping watch,” a spokeswoman for Dublin Central Housing Action told Independent.ie.
“We are really pleased with the generosity and support of everybody. The people doing soup runs came down to us with food, and locals have been giving us essentials like food and toilet rolls. There is a great vibe and great energy,” she added.
"We planned to take over some building yesterday but it wasn’t known exactly which one, and now we’re in so we’re going to see what the reaction is from the landlord," the spokeswoman explained.
She said the occupation is a protest against the eviction of up to 120 tenants evicted from a row of houses in the same street earlier this year.
The protest began at 6.30pm yesterday evening before the march to the vacant building which was occupied around 7.30pm.
It is understood that this occupation was planned in advance and was the overall purpose of the demonstration.
The house does not have an electricity supply, but does have running water.
“We plan on bring down some vacuum cleaners and things today and tidying it up and making the house more habitable for those sleeping in it,” said the housing action spokeswoman.
She said that while the majority of people in the area are supportive of their cause they have noticed people they believe are connected to the landlord driving by and keeping an eye on the developing situation.
“The gardai have passed by a few times too but have just observed the situation, they’re grand. Everything is calm,” she added.
The demonstrators have stated their intention of possibly occupying a number of vacant buildings nearby.
“We want to raise awareness that local authorities have the power to CPO buildings from private landlords, and we want to expose the problem of vacant houses and slums being left with nobody in them while there is a massive problem with homelessness,” the spokeswoman said.