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Housing Crisis

'Squatting makes sense': Take a look inside the Grangegorman complex

Squatters have defended their occupation of the site, saying it provides a home for many young people and services for the community.

Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

SQUATTERS OCCUPYING A number of buildings at a site in Grangegorman have given details of the work they have done since they took over the space to turn it into a home for 30 people and a service for the community.

There were scuffles on Monday night between the group and employees of a private security company which was hired by receivers, appointed by NAMA, to take back control of the site.

Solidarity Times Solidarity Times

A small number of injuries were reported afterwards and negotiations between squatters and gardaí eventually ended the standoff and security workers left the scene.

Pictured are the removed temporary the f The removed temporary the fences erected by LAS Security inside the communal gardens. Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Last night, the squatters defended their occupation of the site for the last year and a half.

In a statement, they said it has been a home and living space for about 30, mostly young people, who can no longer afford to rent in Dublin as prices in the capital soar. It consists of three houses, three converted office buildings, five warehouses, a main courtyard and two smaller yards.

A community garden was built by the residents and is worked on by them and local families in the area.

Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

They have converted warehouse and office space into venues for poetry, music and circus performance art.

A ‘free shop’ was also opened, allowing people to bring unwanted clothes and other items and take whatever they want free of charge.

The group said resident and non-residents can also make use of a community kitchen and seated area.

“All these activities and more are able to run completely free of charge because of the squatted nature of the space,” they said.

Pictured at the gate leading to the communal garden are Rosie and Jason, two of the squatters at the complex. Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The Irish Times reports this morning that the site had been earmarked in 2008 for a €100 million residential, retail and office scheme with 164 apartments. The plans fell through after the economic crash and planning permission expired.

According to the group occupying the site, increasing rent in Dublin and high levels of youth unemployment mean young people can no longer afford to rent in the city.

“With the number of empty buildings in the city, squatting makes a lot of sense”.

The High Court adjourned an application today by receiver Luke Charlton today for an injunction to prevent alleged trespassing on the site and to allow him to take back possession of the site.

Read: Dublin squatters remain at property after day-long standoff>

Read: Grangegorman squatters welcome “victory” as they resist eviction>

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