Members of Take Back Trinity occupied a house in Summerhill Parade this evening as part of a protest against a lack of affordable housing in Dublin.
Around 70 protestors occupied the empty house this evening to protest against evictions and to fight for better housing. The occupation took place as part of today’s “Take Back the City” action, which began at 6.30pm at the GPO.
The march proceeded onto Parnell St before reaching Summerhill Parade, where the occupation was staged.
Gardaí were called to end the occupation of the building but have since left.
Oisin Vince Coulter, the President of the Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), who was present at the march, told The University Times that there were “around 100” protestors at the beginning of the march. It then dwindled to 30 or 40, he said, before more people joined for the occupation of the house.
Dublin Central Housing Action, Dublin Renters’ Union, Brazilian Left Front and Migrants and Ethnic-minorities for Reproductive Justice also participated in the march.
Speaking to The University Times, Seán Egan, one of the leaders of Take Back Trinity, said they would be “holding the occupation for as long as possible.”
“We think radical action needs to be taken to highlight not only the housing crisis but also the absolutely criminal behaviour of individual landlords”, Egan said.
A post on Take Back Trinity’s Facebook page at 9.36pm said: “Gardaí outside. Immediate support needed. This is a civil matter, not a criminal one. We are going to occupy the house!”
Coulter said: “We had a polite conversation and explained that it was a civic matter.” He said the group told the Gardaí that the group would not be leaving the building without a court injunction.
Coulter said the group plans to “return the house to the community”. “We will be in the building for the foreseeable future”, he said.
He said the protesters plan to use the house for community events and to “link in with the local community”.
The group had a “huge amount” of support from the local community, Coulter said.
Egan said that it he thinks it is “inevitable” that there will be “a massive social movement around the issue of housing because the situation is untenable”.
Take Back Trinity was set up in protest against the introduction of a fee on supplemental exams in March. The group occupied the Dining Hall for almost three days, as well as organising protests, rallies and concerts for their cause. After unprecedented levels of student activism and national attention, the College conceded and reversed its supplemental exam fee decision.
In recent weeks, Take Back Trinity attended Dublin’s first-ever Trans Pride, marching with the housing bloc calling for better housing for all.
The accommodation crisis has been brewing for years now all over the country. The situation has seen a rise in expensive private purpose-built student accommodation, making it difficult for students to attend college. Recently, NUI Galway Students’ Union (NUIGSU) took legal action against one of the private housing complexes for huge rent increases.