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Apollo House occupiers told to leave by 11 January

The High Court made the ruling today.

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated at 6pm

THE HIGH COURT has told Apollo House residents they can stay through Christmas.

The occupants of the building in Dublin have been ordered by the High Court to vacate the building by 12 noon on Wednesday, 11 January.

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan today granted an injunction to the receivers of the building – Mazars – to regain possession of the property after it was occupied by homelessness activists late last Thursday night.

The building – located on Poolbeg Street in Dublin’s south inner city – has since become a makeshift accommodation for the homeless, housing up to 40 people

It was occupied by a group of activists – including well-known celebrities – under the banners of the Home Sweet Home coalition and the Irish Housing Network.

Gilligan ordered that the building be vacated, but granted a stay on that order until Wednesday 11 January, providing certain conditions are satisfied.

These include allowing the receivers access to the building, and ensuring no more than 40 people become resident there per night.

The occupiers must also cooperate with the receiver with regards to the building’s electricity.

By that time, the judge ordered that the current occupiers the building should have left.

Ross Maguire SC for the occupiers earlier told a packed court that the occupiers should not be made to vacate property.

After consulting with his solicitor and the four named defendants – none of whom are actually resident in Apollo House – he asked that if the injunction were to be granted that it be given a stay of six months.

Mr Justice Gilligan said that he would not give a stay of this length on this order.

The named defendants are Aisling Hedderman, Glen Hansard, Brendan Ogle and Carrie Hennessy.

All four submitted sworn affidavits that were read out to the court, arguing that the buildings occupiers should be allowed to remain there.

Rossa Fanning SC – representing the receivers Tom O’Brien and Simon Coyle of Mazars – said earlier his clients were sympathetic to the difficulties of facing homeless people.

He said his clients were not seeking any damages against the named defendants, but wanted the building vacated as a matter of urgency.

Statement

In a statement following the judgement, the receivers welcomed the judgement and said they reiterated their commitment to working with Home Sweet Home towards an “orderly vacation” of the property.

“We wish to emphasise that these proceedings were never about the eviction of the people currently in Apollo House but were brought in order to address the serious legal and safety issues arising from the present situation,” the receiver said.

They said they remained “very concerned” for the health and safety of those occupying Apollo House and said that they hoped Home Sweet Home would work with them to meet the direction of the court.

“Which, in turn, will allow us to work with insurers to try to put in place the necessary insurance to cover the period up to the 11th of January,” the statement said.

Commenting outside the court this evening, Aisling Hedderman of the Irish Housing Network thanked the public for its support the past week.

“We together have the power to ensure that we can end homelessness,” Hedderman said.

Read: 35 homeless people slept in Apollo House last night (and there are plans to increase that to 60)

Read: Apollo House occupation: The story behind how a well-organised team took over this Dublin building

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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