Trinity students protest evictions at housing occupation

The occupation follows a protest on O’Connell Street

Trinity students are participating in an occupation protesting housings eviction this evening. Gardaí are present at the protest.

Housing activists are occupying a vacant house in Summerhill to protest a series of evictions on the street. Members from seven activist groups, including Take Back Trinity, Dublin Renters’ Union, and Dublin Central Housing Action (DCHA), are protesting the evictions in Summerhill. Three protesters are occupying the inside of the house, with many more protesters outside.

Speaking to Trinity News, Take Back Trinity spokesperson Conor Reddy explained that “the student housing crisis can’t be divorced from the broader picture of the actual shortage of publicly built houses, built for the needs of the people rather than as commodities to be sold”.

“The only chance of resolution comes with uniting with the broader housing movement,” Reddy continued. He noted that the Take Back Trinity protests earlier this year saw “massive support from the trade unions, political parties and grassroots community activists”.

“There’s certainly strength in unity and we’re building strength for future battles. As a whole movement [the Take Back the City movement], what we’re hoping to do is start a precedent, and show that because the State has been sitting on its hands, direct action needs to be taken,” Reddy stated.

Over 100 protesters gathered on O’Connell Street this evening before marching to Summerhill. A spokesperson for the DCHA explained that the occupation is a protest against the eviction of 120 tenants who have been evicted from a row of houses in the street this year.

Trinity students are participating in the Festival of Direct Action this month, a month-long series of direct actions starting last week protesting the housing crisis. The activist groups took part in Dublin’s Trans Pride Parade last Saturday, where banners and signs were dropped along the marching route to bring attention to the issue of housing.

Trinity students offered solidarity with Dublin City University (DCU) students earlier this year at protests against the cost and quality of DCU student accommodation. Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) signed an open letter lending its “support and solidarity” to the DCU student protesters, while several Take Back Trinity members also attended the protests in support.

Last week, the Residential Tenancies Board heard a case the National University of Ireland Galway Students’ Union (NUIGSU) filed against student accommodation provider Cúirt na Coiribe over a hike in rent costs. NUIGSU filed the case against Cúirt na Coiribe in June after the Galway student accommodation provider increased rent rates by 18% for the upcoming academic year. The outcome of the case is yet to be announced.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland is the current News Editor of Trinity News. She is a Junior Sophister English Literature and Sociology student, and a former Assistant News Editor.