Court grants owners possession of Dublin buildings occupied by alleged trespassers

Court Grants Owners Possession Of Dublin Buildings Occupied By Alleged Trespassers
Counsel said that the defendants and all others persons illegally currently residing on the properties, who seem to be politically motivated, had "no defence"
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High Court reporters

The High Court has said that the owners of adjoining buildings on Dublin's north side that have been illegally occupied by alleged trespassers for several months are entitled to orders granting them vacant possession of the properties.

Mr Justice Rory Mulchay said on Friday that he is prepared to make orders in favour Garvagh Homes Limited having being satisfied that it owns properties including a former carpet showroom, some flats over disused commercial units and a garage at 364-374 North Circular Road, and 168-89 Phibsborough Road Dublin 7.


Garvagh's action is against several named parties and several more unknown persons.

The owner wants orders requiring those persons to cease trespassing and hand over vacant possession of the properties.

Garvagh wants to redevelop the properties into apartments and commercial units but says that the alleged trespassers have been using the properties to hold events including, poetry reading, boxing, raves, gigs and as a community centre.

It claims that several persons are also living in some of the properties.


Represented by Martin Hayden SC with Paul Fogarty Bl, Garvagh said that the trespassers have no legal right to be there, that alcohol has been sold on the premises, and that the site has considerable health and fire safety issues.

Counsel said that the defendants and all others persons illegally currently residing on the properties, who seem to be politically motivated, had "no defence" to Garvagh's action.

Counsel said that events at the site, to which the public have been invited, continue to be advertised.


Earlier this month an ESB employee who had been asked by his client to carry out some works on the site, was "assaulted".


The engineer was "dragged backwards" by a girl who grabbed his jacket before being shouldered, the court heard.

The ESB workers were then surrounded by a "rent-a-crowd of 20 people" and immediately left the site counsel said, adding that they are not prepared to return without the gardaí being present.

Counsel said that his side had gone to great lengths to serve notice of the proceedings on the property, but had been hampered by certain individuals who had given false names.

Counsel said that one of the named defendants had given his name to the court as Stephen Kavanagh, claiming to be a resident of one of Garvagh's properties but had in other unrelated court actions given his name as Stephen Bedford.


In reply the court heard that many of Garvagh's claims, including those in respect of the events taking place and the safety of the premises are denied.

Housing concerns

Two other defendants to the action Mr Shane O'Brien and Ms Jem Cleaver told the court that they were prepared to vacate the premises, but asked that a stay be put on any orders requiring them to leave the properties until a date in January.

They expressed concerns about having to find somewhere else to live, given the current availability of housing in Ireland. and denied having anything to do with several of the matters complained of by the plaintiff, including the assault on the ESB worker.

Mr Kavanagh, who said that is the name he goes under, accepted that he has been referred to as Stephen Bedford, denied attempting to mislead anyone about his identity.


He asked the court to grant a stay of several months on any order requiring him or others to vacate the property where he currently resides.

He said that he required this time in order to secure an alternative place to live.

After considering submissions from the parties Mr Justice Mulchay said that plaintiff was entitled to an order requiring the occupants to vacate the premises and cease trespassing at the premises.

The judge said that he was mindful of the time of the year, and the current housing situation, and was prepared to put a stay on the proposed order until January 8th next.

The net effect of the courts proposed order was that anyone who has been staying at the residential parts of the properties can remain there until the stay expires.

The judge said that he was continuing orders he previously granted prohibiting the defendants from conducting any activities on, or using, the commercial part of the plaintiff's site.

The judge said that in order to ensure that everybody is clear on the precise terms of the court's intentioned order a map should be drawn up by the plaintiffs indicating what part of the site is deemed commercial, and what parts of the site can be used by those living on the site until January 8th.

The case will return before the court on Monday when the injunction orders will be confirmed.

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