Trinity students occupy second location at Frederick Street North

Activists first entered the property last night

Take Back Trinity are one of a number of groups involved in a third occupation at Frederick Street North. The occupation began last night and follows the activists vacating a Summerhill property.

Activists are occupying the property, with many more protestors outside. The protestors marched from properties in the Summerhill area, which the High Court ordered to be vacated yesterday.

In a statement released on Facebook, occupiers announced the occupation: “Housing and community activists have occupied number 34 North Frederick Street this afternoon”. According to the activists the property has been vacant for three years, and is held by insurance company McGreal Insurance.

The group also voiced their anger at the owners of the vacant property, saying “enough is enough. Insurance companies should not be allowed to sit on potential homes in the middle of the most acute housing crisis since the foundation of the state”.

This follows a protest held in the Summerhill area of Dublin today at 12pm. The protest was attended by members of several activist groups, including Take Back Trinity, Dublin Renters’ Union and Dublin Central Housing Action. Protestors met at the Summerhill Parade and made their way to the newly occupied property on Frederick Street North.

The protest also saw support from the Union of Students in Ireland, who urged students to join the protest on Facebook. They noted that “we are in the middle of a housing crisis, which is at its most severe for communities in Dublin City Centre”.

Take Back Trinity were involved in the occupation of a house in Summerhill, which ended today, following a High Court application by the property’s owner, PJ O’Donnell. The High Court issued an injunction to address the risk of a modification made to the property by occupiers. Activists vacated the property before 8am this morning. The properties have since been boarded up by O’Donnell, with private security present at the site.

The occupation was sparked by the eviction of tenants with only one day notice. Each of the properties housed up to 20 tenants. It is contended by O’Donnell that this was due to fire safety concerns raised by Dublin City Council Fire Brigade.

This occupation was followed by an occupation of the Custom House on Wednesday. Protestors issued their demands to a representative of Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy, which include the compulsory purchase of housing in the Summerhill, and all vacant property in the capital. They are also calling for stricter rent caps.

This comes as Trinity students are participating in the Festival of Direct Action across the capital this month. The festival will end with a day of direct action on 25 August. Trinity students have been involved in an occupation of real estate global investment company, Kennedy Wilson, while also marching in the Trans Pride Parade to bring awareness to the issues of housing.

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.