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Housing Minister requests investigation into contentious Phibsborough eviction

The gardaí have already requested an “urgent” report into “lessons learned” following the eviction.

Protesters march in Dublin against the housing crisis on 15 August.
Protesters march in Dublin against the housing crisis on 15 August.
Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THE MINISTER FOR Housing has called on the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to investigate an eviction of nine tenants from a property in Dublin last week that raised concerns after footage of the incident was shared on social media.

Minister Darragh O’Brien wrote to the RTB today to ask it to launch an investigation into the treatment of the evicted tenants, who were evicted from their home in Phibsborough last Wednesday.

O’Brien said that he “wrote to the RTB to ask that they begin an investigation into the incident and report to me without delay”.

The tenants were evicted suddenly by security staff who moved the tenants’ belongings out of the property.

“I am deeply concerned about the treatment of the tenants and want to see this case prioritised by the RTB,” the minister said.

“All tenants need to be treated fairly, respectfully and within the confines of protections provided in the Residential Tenancies Act,” he said.

Footage of the eviction showed at least three gardaí at the scene.

In a video shared on social media, a garda says that it’s “not my responsibility if you’re homeless” to one of the evicted tenants.

A tenant was told that the security firm had given documentation to the gardaí and that the tenants had “no right anymore to be here”.

In his letter to the RTB, O’Brien asked that the board consider “an own violation investigation under RTB Part 7A of the Residential Tenancies Act” and to “prioritise any dispute that may be brought to you by the affected tenants in relation to this termination”.

He wrote that he would consider the RTB’s report “swiftly” and implement any relevant recommendations made that would protect tenants.

It is understood that the tenants who were evicted have since regained access to the property.

The building has been involved in a legal dispute and was sold two months ago from a property fund to another entity.

Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey has already requested an “urgent” report into the lessons learned by gardaí following the incident.

Twomey said that An Garda Síochána is a “learning” organisation.

“If, where An Garda Síochána can learn from this experience, we will do so to ensure that we continue to provide the best policing service going forward based on our tradition of policing by consent,” he said.

An outside Superintendent has been appointed to examine the circumstances of the incident.

On Saturday, protesters marched from Custom House Quay down O’Connell Street against the eviction and the government’s wider approach to the housing and homelessness crisis.

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