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High Court

Injunction sought over alleged illegal occupation of building earmarked for housing

The property was formerly operated by a fabric wholesalers Hickey and Company Ltd, which vacated the site two years ago.

A BUILDING IN central Dublin that is due to be converted into over 500 residential units has been illegally taken over by members of a group calling itself ‘The Revolutionary Housing League’ (RHL), the High Court has heard.

The claim has been made by financial fund Davy Platform ICAV, acting on behalf of its sub-fund the Phoenix Sub-fund, which is the owner of the property at Parkgate House, in Dublin 8 and Ruirside Developments, which has been appointed to develop the site into 519 rental units and other amenities.

As a result of the alleged illegal occupation the plaintiffs seek a High Court injunction requiring all persons in the property to hand over vacant possession of the premises.

The proceedings are against Sean Doyle, Alan Hall, Diarmuid Breatnach and any persons who are in occupation of the building, who it is alleged have used the premises to accommodate people and for political rallies.

It is also claimed that social media posts from the RHL and the defendants contain a series of overt and explicit threats towards persons involved with both plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs say they are concerned that the occupation will prevent them from carrying out any further works at the site, and there are also concerns that the occupation will result in the insurer removing its cover.

The property was formerly operated by a fabric wholesalers Hickey and Company Ltd which vacated the site two years ago.

In its proceedings the plaintiffs, represented by Stephen Byrne Bl, claim that the building has been illegally occupied since late August when banners were seen hanging over the side of the property that adjoins the River Liffey.

Counsel told the court on Friday that the defendants had “barricaded themselves into the property”.

The occupants have no legal right nor any authorisation to be there, and the plaintiffs claim that the building is not currently fit for habitation.

The plaintiff’s requests that the occupants leave the building have been refused.

The plaintiffs claim that posts on social media from the RHL have claimed responsibility for the occupation.

The RHL has claimed that it has made an acquisition order in respect of the property that it has renamed as ‘Ionad Sean Heuston’.

They claim that the Mr Doyle, Mr Hall and Mr Breatnach have been recorded on social media as having been in attendance on the property.

They have used the building to accommodate and shelter persons, as well as for gatherings and rallies.

It is also claimed that the defendants have attempted to or have taken possession of other properties in Dublin by way of purported acquisition orders.

These including a site being developed by a charitable organisation in Inchicore, and Eden House in Dublin 1 which was the subject of separate High Court proceedings earlier this year.

Planning permission has been obtained to allow the plaintiffs develop the site.

Some testing and preliminary works to make it ready for the more substantive works were carried out on the site before it was occupied by the defendants, the plaintiffs claim.

As well as seeking an order granting the plaintiffs possession, they also seek orders preventing the defendants from flying any banners or signs at the building, or from depositing any refuse or waste at the property.

It further seeks orders preventing the defendants and all other persons from harassing, impeding intimidating, or threatening any employees, agents or contractors

The matter was mentioned before Mr Justice Max Barrett during Friday’s vacation sitting of the High Court.

The judge, on an ex-parte basis, granted the plaintiff permission to server short notice of the injunction proceedings on the defendants.

The judge made the matter returnable to a date next week.

Comments closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

Aodhan O Faolain