Dublin: Support & solidarity to Apollo House occupation

Ireland is in the depths of a severe homelessness crisis, with 7,000 people without a home. With the government refusing to act, some activists in Dublin did. Apollo House was occupied by Home Sweet Home Eire on the 15th December, to intervene in the housing crisis and to save lives.

There are around 190,000 vacant buildings in Ireland, that’s 27 houses for every homeless person.

The wealth divide is growing in Ireland and the lives of the homeless mean nothing to a government that values profit over people. For instance, Dublin is in the world’s top 15 for concentration of millionaires, something only intensified as the wealth trickled up after the financial crash. If it is shocking that the rich have become richer as the rest of us have gotten poorer, this is because of the class divide built into our society. When the capitalist class gains, the working class loses. [Read More]

Dublin: Demands of Apollo House Residents

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Home Sweet Home squatted Apollo House in Dublin on Thursday 15 December. This building is the former Department of Social Protection offices, which is now being used to house the homeless.

THE DEMANDS OF APOLLO HOUSE RESIDENTS

“We want somewhere we can close the door behind us and call home.”
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Dublin: Mass Irish support for the occupation of Apollo House

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Apollo House in Dublin was squatted on Thursday 15 December. This building is the former Department of Social Protection offices, which is now being used to house the homeless.

A high court judge yesterday granted an injunction that directs the Home Sweet Home occupiers of Apollo House to vacate the building by noon on January 11th. This means that the occupiers will remain in the building until after Christmas which is some good news but it still means that the State is quite willing to forcibly eject people from safe accommodation back out onto freezing streets or into unsafe, sub standard accommodation.
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Dublin: Video tour of previous Dublin eviction by injunction sites on the morning of Apollo House hearing

This video was shot on the morning of the Apollo House injunction hearing at the High Court, 21st December. As well as footage from outside the courts on our way there we had earlier visited the sites of other occupied buildings evicted in the last 20 months. We discovered all of them were still vacant and in most cases no visible work at all had been done on them.

Apollo house is a NAMA building occupied to provide emergency accommodation for homeless people. 35-40 people have been accommodated there over the last couple of nights. As expected the judge granted the injunction, it will come into operation on January 11th.

We visit 4 other occupations evicted after the same judge granted injunctions over the previous 20 months. All four of those sites are currently vacant and in 3 cases no apparent work has been done. At the largest, Grangegorman all the habitable structures have now been demolished, it had previously housed 30 people. [Read More]

Dublin: Huge Grangegorman squat complex evicted for second time

201608_Dublin_Grangegorman_2nd_evictionThe massive complex of squatted buildings at Grangegorman was evicted for a second time in early August, this time its likely to be permanent at the plan is to build a huge number of expensive to rent student apartments on the site.
The eviction was anticipated and a lot of material was moved over the days around August 11th when ‘heavies’ broke through the gates but were told to back off and allow time for material to be moved out when the Garda arrived. The squatters were quietly moving to another large abandoned building nearby that had been squatted recently, the Debtors Prison on Halston street. Central Dublin is full of such abandoned buildings despite the worst housing crisis in the history of the state. Welcome to Ireland 2016 where protecting the rights of vulture funds to make millions come far, far ahead of needs of those without secure accommodation.

Parts of the Grangegorman site had been abandoned for 20 years as they were assembled into a speculative land package. The total site included 3 very large warehouses, 3 houses and 2 office buildings and a shop as well as one enormous central courtyard and a number of smaller ones. With the 2009 crisis the original developer ended up in NAMA who evicted the site a little over a year ago and then sold it to more property speculators, details below. This new group then abandoned the site so was occupied once more a few months ago and has provided housing to up to 30 people since then as well as being the site of art performances and solidarity fundraisers. [Read More]

Dublin: Abandoned prison occupied by squatters who want to open it as art / community space – State says NO!

201608_Debtors_Prison_DublinWhat may have been the largest squat in Europe, at Grangegorman in Dublin, was recently evicted for the second time. A major hardship for the 30 people living there but one that was rapidly improved on when many of them moved a kilometre down the road and occupied a long abandoned prison.

The Debtors Prison on Halston street was built in 1794 and actually lies between Halston Street and Green Street. The ‘U’ shaped 3 storey building is built of granite and limestone and was built as a luxury prison for the wealthy who had run up gambling debts. There were 33 such rooms / cells which were rented either furnished or unfurnished. If you weren’t rich you were thrown into the basement, Dublin at the time had 5 debtors prison and this one alone could accommodate 100.

It later saw use as a police barracks, both the RIC and the Garda, and in the 1960s for public housing. After that it was threatened with demolition in the period when many historic buildings and indeed squares were pulled down to make way for ‘development’ before being leased by Students Against the Destruction of Dublin, a campaigning group formed by architecture students in the 1980s and then handed back to the Office of Public Works (OPW). [Read More]

Dublin: Prison squatted

The Debtors Prison on Halston Street has recently been occupied by a collective of artists. The prison has been left empty and has fallen into disrepair. The occupants are currently seeking support and cooperation from the organisation responsible for the maintenance of the building, the Office of Public Works, as well as the local community. The occupants have stated that their intention is to restore the building and open the ground floor for exhibitions and walking tours which would highlight social injustices from the past until today. The occupants are hard at work preparing the space and launching projects.

[Note mainstream media is reporting the squat has already been given a week’s notice of eviction]

Dublin: Squat city is under attack

Friends, neighbours, comrades, Squat City is under attack! The rich, nasty vulture fund who have acquired the place we call home have been given official, judicial approval to kick us out (and then try to make us pay for doing so). The injunction, granted on Wednesday the 20th of July, comes into effect on the 10th of August. Some time on or after that date, their minions will show up. And we all know what happens then.
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[Dublin] Squat City Open Day, Saturday 20th February

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Hey everyone!

We would like to invite everybody to Squat City on Saturday for our first open day since the reoccupation. Between 1pm and 5pm, everybody is welcome through the side gate on Lower Grangegorman, whether they know us already or not!

We’ll be serving food and showing people around the space and answering any questions they have. [Read More]

Dublin: Barricade Inn, Trials and Tribulations

Barricade_Inn_DublinTwo weeks ago, at the judge’s discretion, the high court issued an injunction to make the occupation of the Barricade Inn illegal, coming into effect from tomorrow. It seems this may bring an end to one of the most ambitious projects the anarchist squatter movement has yet attempted. A radical, anti-capitalist social centre in the heart of Dublin, open to the public and right next to one of the city’s main thoroughfares. A valuable resource for activists to organise and engage with the public. A focal point for outreach, with the hope of spreading the dreams and ideals of anarchism that were its inspiration.

A cold but dry March night in 2015 was the first night we spent in the building. This was also our first chance to explore it properly. Along with chest-high piles of debris and rubble, a few rodent corpses, and at least a decade’s worth of dust, the place was also very obviously full of potential. Many of the rooms were pretty much functionally self-selecting, so suited were they to some of the projects we wanted to run. [Read More]

[Dublin] Squat City has been liberated!

Spread the word friends. The warehouse will soon be full of words; the garden has begun regrowing community; music and paint about to burst across the city.

At the lower end of Grangegorman and where the block continues along North Brunswick Street, acres of warehouses and yards and houses and space space spaces have been laying vacant far too long, once again. From developers to NAMA to developers to judge’s friends and back to developers for more and more money while people and places rot. [Read More]

Dublin, Ireland: Eviction of Villa Park

Monday saw an eviction without court order in Dublin involving Garda and private security / builders at Villa Park, Dublin 7.  The house had been left abandoned for at least two years according to  neighbours before being brought back into use last October by people who needed a home.  One of them told us that it was a “Beautiful house that was to be demolished in order to make a new route to warehouse / bakery behind it but neighbours objected and planning permission was refused.  The person claiming ownership seemed to be very wealthy and is listed as a director of over 28 companies.” [Read More]