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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019
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Council takes court action against group occupying homeless hostel

Numbers 38 and 39 Bolton Street have been empty since 2011.

bolt hostel Source: Facebook

A GROUP WHICH has taken over a disused council property in the centre of Dublin has appeared in the High Court.

The Irish Housing Network (IHN) faces an injunction from Dublin City Council over its decision to occupy the premises of 38/39 Bolton Street with the Bolt Hostel.

Appearing before Justice Judge Gilligan, the council did not request that the group be removed from the property, but outlined a number of conditions that it wished to see upheld.

It requested that there be no new residents, that no further maintenance work takes place, and that council bodies are allowed to inspect the premises.

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Justice Gilligan ruled that it would be impractical to keep a list of residents and occupants in the hostel, and thus the condition about there being no new residents would not be upheld.

He did rule in favour of the other two conditions requested by the council.

A court-ordered inspection is set to take place this Friday coming by the City Architects Division, the Dublin Fire Brigade and Public Lighting Services.

A sign has been erected at the premises detailing the decision made in court today.

In the course of proceedings Justice Gilligan acknowledged the extent of the housing problem facing Dublin.

The case was set to be heard at 10.30am but was held back until the afternoon.

Injunctions were served to IHN members Seamus Farrell and Aisling Hedderman. These were received today and yesterday, meaning neither had sufficient time to seek legal counsel before appearing.

IMG_20150728_102137 Seamus Farrell and Aisling Hedderman from the IHN Source: TheJournal.ie/Michael Sheils McNamee

Before entering the court, a protest group of around 80 arrived along Inns Quay chanting, “Whose city? Our city! Whose home? Our home! Housing is a human right! This is why we have to fight!”

Members of the group remained outside the court as the proceedings began, distributing leaflets to passers by.

A further court date has been set for 18 August giving the two individuals named in the injunction time to seek legal counsel.

The IHN is an alliance of nine homeless and housing groups that have been working to provide education and research, help with legal support and prevent evictions.

Read: A vacant hostel has been reclaimed by housing activists

Also: Homeless couple who slept at council tell court that temporary accommodation is not suitable

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