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Proceedings against group allegedly trespassing in building ear-marked for refugees adjourned

admin | June 3, 2022
proceedings-against-group-allegedly-trespassing-in-building-ear-marked-for-refugees-adjourned

Proceedings against persons allegedly continuing to occupy Lefroy House in Dublin city centre in defiance of a High Court order requiring them to vacate the property have been adjourned. Earlier this week, Ms Justice Emily Egan granted an order that all persons continuing to occupy the Salvation Army’s property on Eden Quay must be attached, or brought before the High Court, to answer their alleged failure to comply with an order to vacate the property. Ms Justice Egan, who said she was making the order as a last resort as court orders must be complied with, gave the occupiers until 10am on Thursday, June 2nd to leave the building which has been earmarked to host refugees from Ukraine. Anyone who remained beyond that deadline will be attached and brought before the court, either to give a sworn undertaking not to breach the orders or to be committed to Mountjoy prison for contempt. Adjournment On hearing that several children had been observed entering the building, the judge made clear her orders applied only to adults. However, when the matter returned before a vacation sitting of the High Court on Friday afternoon, Mr Justice David Holland was told by Padraic Lyons BL for the Salvation Army, which holds a long lease in relation to the building, that it had not been possible to fully liaise with Gardaí on the matter. In those circumstances, counsel asked that the matter be adjourned for a week. The judge agreed to put the attachment and committal proceedings back to a date next week. There were no objections to the application, and no submissions were made to the court by anyone purporting to represent any of those occupying the building. The building remains occupied by persons whom it is alleged have no legal right to be present. Last month, the Salvation Army secured a High Court injunction requiring persons to vacate and cease trespassing at the property, which it wants to convert into accommodation for Ukrainian refugees. The building had been operating as emergency accommodation for minors in crisis for many years until its closure early last year when funding ceased. Renovation plans were scuppered after the building was allegedly broken into and occupied on May 1st by a group referring to themselves as the ‘Revolutionary Workers Union’ on social media. One of the persons named in the proceedings, Seán Doyle (72), who was last week added as a defendant to the proceedings, previously told the court the group would continue to occupy the building, which they have renamed James Connolly House. Mr Doyle, who stood in the 2014 local elections in Wicklow for the socialist republican Éirígí party, said the group who took over and renamed the building was reacting to the “Free State’s wilful neglect” of its citizens. The needs of homeless people and children are less protected than property and the “greed of a few”, he said, adding that the occupants “will not let this go on”. In posts on social media, the occupiers say they wish to use the building for various purposes, including the housing of homeless people.

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