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Activists regain access to Stoneybatter site after stand-off with security firm and gardaí

Gardaí said they attended the the site in compliance with a court order.

Image: Adam Daly/TheJournal

Updated Oct 27th 2021, 8:30 PM

HOUSING ACTIVISTS HAVE regained access to a site in Stoneybatter, Dublin following an attempted eviction earlier today.

The site on Prussia Street, referred to as Sunnyvale, has been occupied by activist group That Social Centre since last month.

The group announced on 18 September they had occupied an “empty corner of Stoneybatter” and that their plans for the next few months were “to clean up, build infrastructure, host events and workshops, and resist any further eviction attempts”.

That Social Centre put out a call for assistance this morning stating that a private security firm was removing everyone from the site, accompanied by gardaí.

Video footage of today’s attempted eviction was widely shared online, showing gardaí and security staff clashing with activists outside the property.

Gardaí said they attended the Prussia Street site where a “property owner, in compliance with a court order, was securing a premises and facilitating access to persons to remove personal items”.

“A group of people gathered at the scene, some of whom commenced to engage in purported protest activity,” gardaí said in a statement. “A traffic management operation was put in place and the road was closed temporarily for public safety. The matter has since concluded and the road has fully reopened to traffic.”

2021-10-27_17-20-57 That Social Centre said on social media that one of their activists fled to the roof of the property during the attempted eviction.

After activists regained access to the site, a solidarity demonstration was held at 6pm on Prussia street attended by some 120 supporters and a dozen gardaí.

Several activists were inside and on the roof of 23 Prussia Street while those who attended in solidarity lined either side of the busy street despite the torrential downpours.

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Dermot Hayes of Community Action Tenants Union was one of many at the demonstration who told The Journal that they ‘couldn’t ignore the violence’ they saw online in videos of the attempted eviction.

In a post on That Social Centre’s Instagram, they said they had taken back the space, “but the damage is bad”.

The group said the security firm had covered rooms in oil “smashed every toilet, every appliance, every window, and worst of all, torn up all the spaces we use for community events”.

They added that the roof had been sawed into “to make it leaky and ruined”.

About the author:

Adam Daly

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