Sunday 17 November 2019

Squatters in Grangegorman confident they won't be evicted today despite court order

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

Robin Schiller

A GROUP of squatters currently occupying a development site in Dublin are confident that they will not be evicted today despite a court ordering them off the premises by midnight last night.

In March the High Court ordered the people living at the premises in Grangegorman to vacate the property by May 4.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan granted orders preventing a number of named individuals, and anyone with notice of the orders, from interfering with Nama-appointed receiver Luke Charleton's right to take possession of a number of properties at Lower Grangegorman and North Brunswick Street.

However, squatters were still occupying the property yesterday, despite the deadline for their ordered departure fast approaching.

In a statement, the group who refer to themselves as the Grangegorman Community Collective said as the case was still due before the courts they were not expecting an eviction to occur.

"As far as we are aware, an eviction will not occur on Monday, May 4, or Tuesday, May 5, as the case is still pending in the High Court. We will be in court on Tuesday, May 5, after which we will have more information," the statement said.

"We will then return to court on Tuesday, May 14, for the appeal. We are exploring all avenues to save the Grangegorman site from eviction.

"We cannot divulge any more information at the moment, as we do not want to create prejudice due to the ongoing court case," it added.

The group have transformed the largely derelict and vacant site into a network of dwellings and co-operative homes, including a free shop, galleries, studios communal kitchen, a communal garden, a green amphitheatre and a playground.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin previously praised the squatters work, saying that he "commended" them for turning the derelict site into "something positive."

Shane O'Brien, one of the men who attended the court sitting in March, replied "no comment" when asked if the group were planning to stay at the development site past last night's deadline.

The residents, who have occupied the disused space since August 2013, resisted attempts by agents of Luke Charleton - the receiver for certain assets of developer Paschal Conroy - to evict them in March.

There were scuffles while attempts were made to remove the squatters from the site.

Tense scenes ensued as protesters prevented the workers and security men - who had accessed the site earlier in the day - from leaving.

Dublin Fire Brigade confirmed that a man was taken by ambulance to the Mater Hospital with minor injuries.

The protesters later let the workers leave.

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