Last Apollo House occupant and donated goods to be removed

Efforts are being made to remove the last remaining occupant from Apollo House in Dublin city centre, the High Court has heard.

Last Apollo House occupant and donated goods to be removed

Mr Justice Paul Gilligan was told yesterday morning the occupation had ended, that all the homeless people who had resided in the building had left, that efforts were being made to remove all the items of property including furniture that had been donated by members of the public.

However, yesterday afternoon Michael Lynn SC acting for the members of the Home Sweet Home coalition, which was behind the organisation of the occupation, said that one person had refused to leave.

Counsel accepted that the court was earlier told the occupation had ended.

Counsel said both he and his solicitor had at the time believed this to be the case and were unaware that one male had refused to go.

However, counsel said his client was confident that the man would leave the building. Counsel said the gardaí were dealing with the matter, and they had asked that the process of removing all the materials be put on hold until the building had been fully vacated.

Counsel said steps were still being taken to safely remove the donated property, which included fridges and televisions, from Apollo House. It was hoped that this process would be completed “as soon as is possible”.

In reply Rossa Fanning SC for the Nama-appointed receivers who own the property said they accepted that efforts were being made to vacate the property. The news that the occupation had ended was “a welcome development”.

Counsel said the receivers would be quite happy to assist in any orderly wind down of the occupation.

Following a request from the parties, Mr Justice Gilligan agreed to adjourn the case to next Tuesday to allow the process of vacating the building continue.

The judge also granted the sides liberty to apply to bring the case back before the court should anything arise.

The building, located on Tara Street and Townsend Street in Dublin had been offered as accommodation to the homeless by the Home Sweet Home coalition.

Mr Justice Gilligan had, when granting an injunction late last month ordering the residents to leave the building, placed a stay on his order allowing the occupants to remain on until 12 noon on Wednesday, January 11.

On Wednesday, lawyers for the occupants asked the court for a seven-day extension on the deadline. That application was refused.

On December 21, the judge granted an injunction sought by Tom O’Brien and Simon Coyle of Mazars, who were appointed joint receivers over the building by a Nama related company NALM (National Asset Loan Management) Ltd in 2014, to vacate the property and restraining the illegal trespass at Apollo House.

The receivers had sought orders against four named individuals they said were involved in the occupation — musician Glen Hansard, trade unionist Brendan Ogle and activists Aisling Hedderman and Carrie Hennessy who are all members of the Irish Housing Network group which is part of the coalition.

They opposed the application for an injunction.

When seeking the injunctions, the receivers said the application had been brought over concerns about the health and safety of those who were illegally occupying the building.

The building forms part of a block due for redevelopment. The receivers want to sell the property to deliver the best possible return for the taxpayer.

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