A number of homeless individuals were evicted from a building and grounds used as a squat in north Dublin on Wednesday afternoon, which led to protests during the day involving up to 40 people.
Several homeless people had lived in caravans on the grounds of the house on Prussia Street in Dublin 7 for a number of months.
Protestors claimed that between 10 and 13 men came into the yard on Wednesday morning and instructed the people there to leave. Electricity was turned off and people living in the building were “dragged out of their beds and out of the property”, witnesses claimed.
After an appeal on social media for support, the occupants and some 30 or more protesters who were locals or members of the Community Action Tenants Union (CATU) remained outside the property for several hours afterwards in an attempt to prevent the men from leaving with their belongings.
More than 20 gardaí and several squad cars were present at the scene, with roadblocks set up on two streets, while a Garda helicopter flew overhead.
Speaking outside the property, a woman named Aileen told the Irish Times there were “several people injured when they were trying to block the heavies from leaving but there were no serious injuries”.
Protestors complained that gardaí had protected the private security firm during the evictions from the building, which has been “empty for about seven years”, one declared.
Three protesters climbed onto the roof of number 23 Prussia Street during the afternoon while gardaí attempted to remove the protesters and themselves blockaded the front of the building.
Violence broke out when gardaí began to clear the protestors from the site to allow two vans to leave the property.
Chants of “Shame, shame, shame on you” were directed at gardaí by the protesters, who they accused of protecting landlords.
Several people at the scene said a High Court order from 2018 which had instructed people to quit the building did not refer to the current occupants living there.
A Garda spokesman said gardaí attended the scene where “a property owner, in compliance with a court order, was securing a premises and facilitating access to persons to remove personal items”.
“No arrests were made at the scene and there were no reports of any injuries, however An Garda Síochána will carry out further investigations into certain activities arising from the incident,” the spokesman said.
The road had been “closed temporarily for public safety,” the spokesman said, adding that the matter had “since concluded and the road has fully reopened to traffic.” Protestors gathered again at the house last night.