Occupiers refuse to vacate North Frederick Street Property despite injunction

Occupiers were ordered by injunction to vacate the property by 2pm today

Occupiers have refused to vacate a property in North Frederick Street today. An injunction was served against occupiers at 34 North Frederick Street yesterday evening at approximately 8.30pm, requiring activists to leave the property on or before 2pm today. Trinity students are currently involved in the ongoing occupation.

Activists and protestors also met outside the property at 1.30pm in solidarity with those inside the building. A large group of supporters crowded in front of the front door of the property, blocking entry. However, no locksmith or security team had arrived at the property at the 2pm deadline to remove occupiers.  

Activists are threatening to shut down the street should the Gardaí interfere with the ongoing demonstration.

Neasa Hourihan, Chair of the Green Party Policy Council, spoke outside the occupied property today and said that “we call on activists, Green Party members and local groups to support the aims of the Summerhill Occupation and in particular to identify and communicate vacant and derelict homes around the country”.

TD Paul Murphy also spoke at the event this afternoon. He said that he was expecting resistance and that “it’s a great location for it”.  

The injunction was served by the High Court following a hearing yesterday. The owner of the property Patricia Ní Greil made the application following an unsuccessful notice to vacate the property issued on 23 August.

Ní Greil is the daughter of insurance broker Colm McGreal, of McGreal Insurance. The group has recognised Colm McGreal as an “insurance intermediary who amassed a small portfolio of properties across Ireland during the 90s and early 00s”.

During the court hearing, McGreal pointed out that he intends to develop the North Frederick Street property into a guest house. Activists have been critical of this move as it would be “joining the 79 other hotels under development in the city centre this summer”. They pointed out that “in the first quarter of 2018, Dublin City Council built no social housing”.

The group also noted that they have “made repeated attempts to contact and negotiate a resolution with Ms McGreal, attempts that have so far been met with aggression and indifference”.

The group has again voiced their demands to the government. The first of these are the implementation of rent caps of €300, or 20% of a person’s income. They have also called for the compulsory purchase of 33 to 39 Summerhill Parade, and all other vacant property in Dublin.

It comes over a week after the group cancelled a meeting with Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy. The group occupied the Custom House, calling for a meeting with the Minister in return for vacating the building. The group claimed that Minister Murphy had “dramatically changed the terms of the meeting”, and that it was eventually cancelled due to logistical issues.

It also comes weeks after housing activists were ordered to leave a property in the Summerhill area of Dublin. The activists remained in a property on Summerhill Parade for 10 days. Owner PJ O’Donnell had been holding the properties for former and current employees, but had vacated the properties due to fire safety concerns. Each property was holding up to 20 tenants.

Peter Kelly

Peter Kelly is the current Assistant Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister Law student, and a former Deputy News Editor.