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Fund secures order requiring 'squatters' to leave Dublin property

The Judge said the premises should be vacated by 7pm on Friday 23 March.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A FUND HAS secured a High Court injunction requiring a group of up to 20 “squatters” to leave a Dublin property it claims is being illegally occupied.

Havbell Designated Activity Company secured orders in relation to a property at 44 North Circular Road in Dublin against persons unknown, who it claims broke into the property sometime in the last few weeks and have refused to leave.

At the High Court today Ms Justice Caroline Costello granted the fund an injunction, which is to remain in place pending the outcome of the full hearing, compelling the occupants to vacate and cease trespassing at the property.

The Judge said the premises should be vacated by 7pm on Friday 23 March. The fund previously obtained orders allowing it serve short notice of the injunction proceedings against the occupants.

When the matter returned before the court no person claiming to be resident at the property was present in court.

The fund, represented by Ronan Murphy SC and Ronan Kennedy Bl, claims the property had been vacant for just over a year following a fire in 2017.

The fund acquired the property from PTSB in 2016 after the previous owners gave up vacant possession, counsel said.

Following the blaze tenants who had been living there left the building, which had been divided into different sub units.

The property, which had been boarded up, is in the process of being sold, counsel said.

Earlier this month agents for the fund discovered the property had been broken into, the lights were on and between 15 to 20 people persons were believed to be residing there.

Counsel said the agents attempted to find out who was living there, but the persons there would not identify themselves.

The persons there consisted of mostly males and some females of different nationalities.

The group, who counsel described as squatters, said the situation had a hint of some sort of activism.

When the fund’s agents were at the premises some of the occupants wore balaclavas and acted in an aggressive manner, and refused to leave.

The gardaí were called, counsel said.

Meter

Counsel said the property’s ESB meter had been bypassed and power had been restored to the property.

This was of concern to the fund, particularly as there had been a fire in the premises last year, counsel said.

Counsel said that it had also transpired that another group, made up of local youths, had used sheds at the rear of the property to keep horses.

Counsel said it appeared this second group did not like the group occupying the property.

This was because the group occupying the premises had allegedly let the other group’s horses escape after breaking a lock in order to gain access to the property’s garden, counsel said.

Mr Murphy said another inspection by the fund’s agents took place this morning.

There were no people on the premises at the time of the inspection, and the inspectors found bedding, a child’s cot and some fresh food in a fridge.

It was believed that the occupants, several of whom are understood to be working, may return in the evening time, and his client was anxious to proceed and secure the court order.

The Judge in adjourning the matter directed that the terms of the court’s order be posted on a sign at the property.

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Aodhan O Faolain

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