A report of two weeks of housing actions in Dublin By Solidarity Times
June 16th: two hired thugs banged at the door of a squatted house which had been lying vacant for years in Dublin’s North Strand. The threat from the thugs was totally illegal. They demanded the occupiers leave at once, or else they’d be back in the morning with sledge hammers. The next morning true to their word the two heavies arrived back with a sledge hammers. The occupants awoke to a loud bang on the front door. As they ran down the stairs splinters of wood from the door were flying through the air. As they pushed a mattress against the door the panels off the top of the door were smashing through. The mattress was helping to absorb the shocks from the blows of the hammers, as two occupiers held the mattress up another called friends and people from the squatting movement to come for help and support.
Before their friends and comrades arrived the garda called onto the scene. As soon as the pair spotted the garda they dropped their hammers. The thugs approached the garda and began negotiating with them. About 30 supporters arrived a couple of seconds later. Comrades began making mends to what was left of the splintered door. After about 40 minutes the two heavies left after the owner of the propertys solicitor told them to leave the scene. The vacant property is still liberated despite the thugs’ illegal attempted eviction.
June 18th: Housing activists from grass roots groups that make up the Irish Housing Network occupied the Department of Environment, Community, and Local Government in the Customs House. This location was strategically picked by the Irish Housing Network as a follow up to the occupation of Dublin City Council office to highlight the housing and homeless issue by methods of direct action and to keep pressure on the state bureaucracy to create positive change in the housing and homeless issue.
The activists said: “The department said the gov will be sticking to the housing strategy which means they will provide housing to clear the housing list but it will be through HAP ie private renting”
“The department refused to acknowledge that people are being given sleeping bags when they present to their local authority homeless sections.”
June 20th: activists and supporters of the Irish Housing Network march in a housing bloc at the anti-water charge march in Dublin flying the banner for decent housing for all.
June 23rd: after five days of occupying a liberated vacant house in Phibsboro, members of An Spreach: Housing Action Collective was illegally evicted when ten garda battered the door down with a battering ram and crowbars. At the time of the eviction the housing activists were holding a meeting in the liberated house about further direct actions to help towards combating the housing and homeless issue. The vacant property is one of many proprieties that lay empty for years around Dublin as well as throughout Ireland for years, all while people have to sleep on the streets and in parks.
June 24th: a Ballyfermot based grass roots homeless group called Help 4 the Homeless and a homeless couple occupied South Dublin County Council office erecting tents in the lobby. The occupation was held in support with a couple that became homeless a week prior to the occupation, because the landlord they were renting from sold the house they cannot find another place to rent as they can’t afford it. The couple slept in a local park for near a week, they had enough so they occupied the council office. The couple want to be recognised by the state bureaucracy as being a family unit. The couple want the council to pay for a hotel room or a B&B like they do with any other family. The state bureaucracy says the couple isn’t a family unit because the couple aren’t both the child’s parents and the father only has his child four days a week.
The council took an injunction against the couple after they slept in the lobby and because they refused to leave the council office. They left the council office on Friday because of one of the couple health problems he suffers with serious epilepsy. Supporters of the couple rose the funding for them to stay in a hotel for the weekend; they are in the high court on Monday at 11am for the injunction.
These events took part over only just 14 days in Dublin. battles are being fought by people for better housing throughout Ireland daily, the housing issues is deepening, homelessness is rising.
PRESS RELEASE TODAY by Irish Housing Network
Today Alan and Kellie, accompanied by members of the network, activists and supporters faced the High Court. Holding there on the original ruling was adjured till 2pm.
The judge recognised the serious medical condition Alan faces and the custody of his child that he holds so dear a first win. He ordered an adjournment till Thursday July 9th, another win. The council feeling pressure offered a meeting at 10am the next morning, another win.
The Judge also requested an agreement that Alan and Kellie would not protest at SDCC until the case was seen again, this disgraceful use of an injunction was agreed to by the couple for now. The Council also offered to house the couple tonight in a hostel. Despite a doctors order that hostel conditions were not suitable for Alan, SDCC placed Alan Kelly in a hostel in the city centre. On inspection the entrance was virtually blocked with rubbish, mattresses were covered in urine and mold was growing on the windows. Alan was in a Coma this year, Kellie is his carer. The stress has already impacted on his health and this was a disgusting move by SDCC. These conditions are not suitable for an animal, no person should face them and Alan physically can not.
This was a move in bad faith by South Dublin County Council who have shown nothing but contempt for the legitimate need for emergency housing. Alan and Kellie can’t protest at SDCC but have made the brave decision, with nowhere else to go, to sleep out across the road in Watergate Park. We are asking all groups, activists and supporters to come and support them in this sleep out.
Tomorrow will be another day. If South Dublin County Council do not agree to house Alan and Kelly in suitable family friend accommodation in a fit condition for someone ill and for a child to stay then this fight will continue.
Irish Housing Network
Help 4 the homeless
Housing Action Now
Social Workers Action Network
North Dublin Bay Housing Crisis Community
The Hub – Ireland
Lay Litigation Ireland
An Spréach: Housing Action Collective
A Lending Hand
Help the Hidden Homeless