A group of people occupying a building owned by a Dublin housing association have an additional two weeks to vacate the premises before the enforcement of a court order.
Forty-six international protection applicants, a number of whom are believed to have stayed in the makeshift camp off Sandwith Street, which was burned following protests earlier this month, have been living in McSweeney House on Berkeley Street near Phibsborough since May 12th.
The building is owned by Cabhrú Housing Association and has been designated for development since planning permission was granted for a 35-unit residential scheme in 2019.
A High Court order was granted on May 18th requiring all of those occupying McSweeney House to vacate. The order was given a seven-day stay of execution, and on Thursday a judge ruled it would come into effect the following day.
However, according to a statement from Cabhrú, due to a High Court recess, the housing association does not have the power to enforce the order until June 7th.
“If the premises has not been vacated by the 7th June, Cabhrú will have no option but to return to court and seek an Attachment and Committal Order, to enforce the original Order,” read the statement.
“In recognition of the wider housing crisis, in particular the need for accommodation for older people, Cabhrú is keen to ensure that the planned development works and the provision of 35 new apartments is not delayed or hindered in any way. It had been intended to issue a tender for the demolition of the building on the 24th May. Given the circumstances, the tender was not issued and the matter is being kept under review.
“It is recognised that there is a critical need at this time for suitable accommodation to be provided for refugees and asylum seekers. However, there is concern for the safety, health and welfare of these individuals currently in the premises because all services to the building had been disconnected and there is concern that unauthorised interference with the utility supplies may cause a safety risk.”
Streetlink Homeless Services and Jesuit Refugee Services have liaised with Cabhrú in order to find accommodation for the people living in the property. As of Friday, it is understood that at least 12 of the original 46 residents had been offered an alternative by the International Protection Accommodation Service.