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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Ruth Coppinger and her supporters have ended their occupation of a show-home

An injunction action was taken by developer Hansfield Investments.

HOMELESS FAMILIES WHO had been occupying a show-home in west Dublin have agreed to end their protest after a High Court hearing today.

The families had been occupying the house in the Hansfield estate in Ongar since Saturday, along with Anti Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger and three AAA councillors.

07/10/2015. Protest - Homeless Families. Pictured Danielle Adderley (centre) was one of the women involved in the protest. Source: Sam Boal

Injunction proceedings brought against Coppinger by Hansfield Investments were today heard in court before the activists agreed to end their protests.

“The protesters decided that they’ve gone as far as they could with this particular action,” Coppinger said this afternoon following the hearing.

The deputy represented herself in court and told TheJournal.ie that she and the other protesters would continue to highlight the issues of social housing and affordable accommodation.

The developer, represented by Eoghan Cole, said the protesters had no right to be there and were trespassing at the show-house.

Hansfield claimed that the protest involved up to 25-30 people on a rolling basis and that gardaí had been called, but said the protesters did not leave.

ongar The women had been occupying the property since Saturday. Source: Ruth Coppinger

The protest, the court heard, was part of a campaign to shame the government to deal with the plight of families who have been made homeless, many of whom have been put up in temporary accommodation.

One of the women occupying the house, mother-of-two Amy Brennan, argued that she’d been moved to some 20 different hotels without a permanent place to stay.

The constant movement from one place to another is severely problematic for adults and in particular children, she argued. 

Brennan says she’s been homeless for several months after her landlord raised the rent to a level she could not afford.

She told the judge that she was moved to become involved in this particular protest after being disappointed with Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s replies to questions about homelessness when she and others attended the Dail last week.

“He didn’t look up at us,” she told the court.

The judge told Coppinger that he was aware of the homeless situation because of the cases he’s seen come before the court.

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He said that, while he appreciated the plight of many of the people she represents, the only issue the court could deal with was if the protesters were asserting any right to the property.

07/10/2015. Protest - Homeless Families. Pictured Amy Brennan speaking outside the High Court after today's hearing. Source: Sam Boal

Coppinger says there is a link between the property and wider issue because it demonstrates the lack of social housing available.

The Dublin West TD says the protesters saw the show-house going on sale without any affordable housing made available in the area.

Coppinger has previously called for the properties in the development to be taken over by the State and rented to those in need of social housing.

A decision on costs in the case is expected to be made tomorrow.

- With reporting from Aodhán O’Faolain

Read: Homeless families occupy show house in west Dublin >

Read: Living on pot noodles and cereal: ‘It’s hard living out of bags in one hotel room with your children’ >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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