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Grangegorman protest


Just as night must follow day a city that cannot provide affordable housing for its citizens will see a rise in homelessness. It follows on from this that if the same city has buildings lying empty and those building can be made liveable, then inevitably people will move in and turn those buildings into homes.

In Grangegorman, a sight left derelict since the downturn has, over the last two years, been converted and made liveable. The space holds three houses, three office buildings, a number of warehouses and a courtyard. At first people moved into the abandoned houses that face the street before, over time, expanding back into the wider site. Over time the residents converted the old buildings and created an art space and community garden as well as living quarters for some thirty residents.

At 6.30 am, last Monday morning a large contingent of Garda and construction workers as well as many as forty employees of a private security company (Las security) arrived at the Grangegorman site. They then proceeded to cut through the main gates before erecting fencing around the homes of residents

No court order had been granted, nor was there a bailiff or sheriff appointed by a court in attendance. All the occupants received  was a letter from Luke Charleston, which explained he had been appointed statutory receiver of the properties of NAMA and had authorised  Aiden Devlin of Las Group to act as an agent on his behalf.

The residents claim to have been threatened and intimidated by security, as well as, been fenced off from their homes. At one point, in an incident that appears to be supported by film taken at the scene, residents were trapped between two pieces of fencing that were been pushed against them by security men. All these events took place in the presence of An Garda Siocana.

By night-time Las security, in their eagerness to oversee the erection of permanent spiked fencing managed, in a scene more suited to an episode of the keystone cops, to actually fence themselves into the site.

At this point, with the only vehicle exit being 2 x 4 meter high gates occupied by protesters, the men of Las security decided to force their way out. The protesters sitting atop the gates claim to have been attacked with iron bars by security men who then forced the gate open and in the process caused one protester to fall onto the ground. He was later brought by ambulance to the Mater hospital and treated for a serious leg injury.

Having at this stage succeeded in opening the gate a van then attempted to drive through a crowd that had gathered around the entrance. Film shot at the scene captures this moment and shows the protesters banging on the windshield of the vehicle in an effort to make it stop. A number of people were treated by paramedics at the scene as a result of this incident.

Only at this point did the Gardai intervene in an effort to de-escalate the situation. Eventually a deal was brokered allowing the vehicle to leave on condition all the security men left with them.

Having secured their homes the residents have obtained a high court injunction and have, for the moment, avoided eviction.

4 Responses

  1. Tony Gorrman says:

    After reading about the mass evictions in Dublin I felt sorry that any government especially in a religious country like Ireland can let this happen so it compelled me to write this poem for our homeless. My heartily and support is with them in their plight.

    -A Wake up for the Irish Government 30th March 2015/ by Tony Gorman

    In a holy state of homelessness
    Where people pay the toll
    And clergy teach you out of books
    Of sins that stain your soul

    But out of books they do not see
    Injustice to the poor
    And leave those who are homeless
    In conditions like a sewer

    While ministers in government
    They close their eyes to this
    And treat the less unfortunate
    With just a Judas kiss

    There are derelict buildings everywhere
    And homeless on the street
    There’s defiantly and answer there
    Of where priorities meet

    To sort out all of these buildings
    And show a caring way
    For it was your mismanaged leadership
    That leaves evections day by day

    So stop your gallivanting
    And look to those in need
    And give up taking liberties
    As they are a sin of greed

    And for once look to your people
    And the help that you should give
    By putting a roof above their head
    In the way that they should live

  2. Admin says:

    Beautiful as always, thanks Tony!

  3. Dave Carr says:

    Thank you Tony. You’ve captured what I Wanted to say about this sorry affair.

  4. Tony Gorman says:

    Thanks’ Dave
    But it was your write up about the evictions that set the ball rolling. You covered it so well that I thought I would add a bit of support your way. I’m sure those people will be very grateful to you for all the support you have given them.
    Well done Dave I admire what you’re doing.
    Tony Gorman

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