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Squat Eviction in Galway

category galway | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Saturday September 07, 2013 19:36author by SHAC - Social Housing Action Co-op Report this post to the editors

On wednesday last a squat in galway was evicted.One young woman arrested for "trespass likely to cause fear in another person", after she had been woken from her bed to the sound of 3 burley men attempting to kick in the door. Meanwhile, to every 1 homeless person
are 67 deralict houses in Ireland
squat_1.jpg

That morning there was only one occupant of the building.She awoke to the sounds of them trying to break in. Shortly after they eventually got in one garda arrived."he had no idea what section to arrest me under" she said.The gardai insisted bringing a squat car the whole way round the block (it was on a one way street) to bring her to the garda station 200meters down the road! There she was charged with 2 off fences which were completely unfounded. She will be up in galway district court on the 14th of october."when i return to get my things, the men that had evicted me were busy with a crowbar smashing up everything, and gutting the whole house"

The property is owned by Peter Fitzgerald has been the Director of 33 companies many in the area of construction, real estate and consultancy. Needless to say he must have benefitted a lot from the property bubble during the celtic tiger years.They are rumored to own; 2 helicopters, a Masserati, a Range rover, a new BMW and a villa in Spain and Who's to know how many properties they own in ireland.

To me this situation is madness, for someone put love into transforming somewhere into a home; which has been neglected and forgotten, and only amounts to 'capital' in the mind of the owner.
"It was really surreal watching them smash up the interior of their own house with so much satisfaction that no one else would sleep in there again"
For every 1 homeless person in ireland there are 67 empty houses lying abandoned and forgotten.Thats 289,451 empty houses!(according to 2011 census)

For me squatting challenges how this can be acceptable in our society. I know irish people's historic relationship to owning land is still strong, but i hope this attitude can change so that owners can see the advantages of their houses being occupied: It provides security from junkies and the likes entering and trashing the place, most squatters leave houses in way better nick then when they found them, and leave when the owners show up and want them out.

author by newsmediapublication date Sun Sep 15, 2013 14:16author email newsmedia at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nothing new here sadly. As a squatter in 1982 I renovated a badly damaged prefab on a small plot with about 6 other prefabs in Forest Hill, south London, replacing broken windows, fixing up a damaged interior and making kitchen and bathroom useable. The property had been empty for several years.

The neighbours were friendly and raised no complaints. A homeless friend moved in with me.

About two weeks later we went out one day for several hours and when we returned found the place had been completely smashed up inside by council workmen ordered to carry out the destruction by the local council to prevent anyone occupying the property.

Conversely I had been living for one year in a small one bedroom house in Sydenham with the blessing of the estate agent owners who came to visit me after I moved in, saw the place was well kept and told me to stay there rent free as a 'caretaker' as the property would not be going on the market for some time.

And before that I lived in a big house in Crystal Palace Park Road for over two years - one of about 10 'empty' and very expensive properties that had been taken over by squatters, who banded together and were given permission by Lambeth Council to continue staying in the houses provided they took care of them.

What we are seeing today is ignorant selfishness driven by blind adherence to greed.

author by fredpublication date Sun Sep 08, 2013 22:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It just shows you that precious garda resources can always be found to harass the poor on behalf of the rich and this is always a high priority for the state. Housing the homeless is not. The state and their developer friends would much rather demolish houses to prop up property prices than give them to people in genuine need of housing

 
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