There is a new squat in Dublin up in Grangegorman where all the DITs will be moving in the next few years. It has been setup by a group of political squatters. They now face eviction from the row of empty, unused, rotting houses in Lower Grangegorman and they are asking people to come and help resist.
- 300,000 empty houses in Ireland, 5,000 people homeless --
The WSM caught up with them for an interview last week to find out more....
The houses were found in a delapidated condition, left empty to decay and fall apart. The current residents have been living there for several weeks and have been working to repair the homes and make them habitable.
Here are some quotes from the WSM report:
Sam, who has been living in the middle house for several weeks commented, "With the number of empty houses in Ireland estimated at over 300,000,with 600 ghost estates and up to 5,000 homeless people in Ireland at any one time, it makes sense that these empty houses become homes for people. That is exactly what we are doing, squatting empty houses in Dublin."
Lee added, "The house had fallen into disrepair, with broken windows, rotting floorboards and mould growing on the walls. When squatters move into a house they make it their home, they fix these things, they work together." "The idea is simple: it is better that a house has inhabitants who take care of it than for nobody to take care of it. Shelter is a basic human need and it doesn't make sense that there are landlords who own more property than they can use. Here in Ireland the council is supposed to provide housing, but the list for housing is absurdly long - it often takes years to get yourself a gaff, while thousands of houses lie empty. Squatting is an act of resistance: resistance against ridiculously high rents, resistance against greed and resistance against the destruction of our communities."
Lee continued "Two men, one of whom claimed to be the owner of the property, kicked in the door of our home on Thursday afternoon with a hammer in his hand while some of us were eating lunch and others doing much-needed repair and decoration work. They ordered everyone to leave the house and called the Gardaí. They said that they wanted to see 'vacant properties', presumably wanting them to return to their rotting, delapidated condition. The left-most house in the row, our house, was then boarded-up immediately."