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Owners of Dublin building occupied by protesters say it is 'not safe'

The building at Belvedere Place was occupied on 8 September.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

PROTESTERS HAVE NOT complied with orders directing them to vacate and end their occupation of a building in Dublin’s north inner city, the High Court has been told.

Last month the court granted the owners of 41 Belvedere Place, Dublin 1, MJH Property Management, an injunction compelling persons unknown to immediately vacate and cease their unlawful trespass on the property.

The owners say the occupation of the vacant premises, commenced on 8 September last when several persons linked to the Take Back the City campaign who have been highlighting the current housing crisis, forcibly entered the property.

In seeking the injunction, the owners told the court the building is unsuitable for what they say is an illegal occupation, and is not safe.

The owners have plans to develop the property into apartments.

Taking steps

At today’s sitting of the High Court Padraig D Lyons BL instructed by solicitor Kieran Curran, MJH Property Management told Mr Justice Tony O’Connor that despite the injunction being granted the occupiers remain in the building.

Counsel said that his client was “taking steps” to address the situation.

There were no representations made to the court on or behalf of any of the occupants when the case was called by the court registrar.

The judge agreed to adjourn the matter for two weeks.

Previously the court heard that the owner is a UK based property letting and management business that acquired 41 Belvedere Place in 2016.

It plans to develop the four-storey over basement Georgian building, which is a protected structure into apartments for either sale or letting.

To prepare for these works it needs access to the building, which it says it is prevented from doing due to the occupation.

In its current situation, where persons are in continuous illegal occupation, the building is not compliant with fire safety regulations, it is claimed.

Lyons previously told the court that unless the occupation ends its insurance for the building will be rescinded.

Housing occupations

The owners claim the occupation is part of the “Take Back the City” campaign. The occupation it adds has featured on a website of a group called the Workers Solidarity Movement, which describes itself as an anarchist organisation.

41 Belvedere Place is the third North inner city premises, after properties in Summerhill and North Frederick Street, to be occupied by the protesters.

All of the properties become the centre of High Court proceedings where orders were granted in favour of the various owners requiring the occupiers to leave and vacate the properties.

The properties in Summerhill were vacated without incident. However, the removal of the protesters from Frederick Street by security men in the presence of the gardaí proved highly controversial.

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Aodhan O Faolain

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