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Housing Activists Take Part In Rush Hour Protest In Dublin

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Housing activists have been staging fresh protests in Dublin city centre this evening.

Crowds gathered at North Frederick Street, before moving on to stage a sit-down demonstration at Parnell Square and O'Connell Street.

Demonstrators say they won't be intimated and will continue to occupy vacant and derelict buildings.

Image: Gail Conway

It comes after gardaí were criticised after officers wearing balaclavas broke up a housing protest in Dublin City Centre yesterday.

Scuffles broke out when a group of activists were forcibly evicted from a vacant house on North Frederick Street yesterday evening.

Gardaí said five people were arrested during the protests.

Images shared on social media showed a number of men dressed all in black and wearing balaclavas entering the building to remove the protesters.

Activist ‘Eoin’ said the men were members of a security firm that displayed no identification and broke into the property using saws and drills.

A number of masked gardaí from the Public Order Unit gathered in front of the property while the eviction was being carried out.

In a statement this morning, Gardaí confirmed the five arrests.

A Garda spokesperson said two people were charged and bailed to appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice on October 2nd.

Two others received adult cautions.

One was released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP. 

Protesters at Store Street Garda Station

Sinn Féin has warned that the images “certainly give an impression of a heavy handed, overreaction to a peaceful housing occupation.”

Meanwhile, Green Party justice spokesperson Roderic O’Gorman said he was disturbed by the images of gardaí wearing balaclavas at the scene.

“I just think it is quite disturbing that we see a protest being policed in this particular way,” he said.

“I don’t think it meets the criteria of transparency and openness that we would expect from policing.”

People attend a rally outside 34 Frederick St North in support of the occupiers of the building, 29-08-2018. Image:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

The Take Back the City group has been holding sit-ins to highlight the number of homes sitting empty during the housing crisis.

Eoin from the group says a number of people were injured.

"One person suffered concussion having been kicked in the head, another suffered shoulder injuries after being pushed down the stairs while another had cuts on their arm and was bleeding," he said.

Last night, a crowd of demonstrators gathered outside Store Street Garda Station to call for the protesters release.


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