THERE HAS been a strong reaction to videos which surfaced online showing masked men forcibly evicting tenants from their home in Dublin while Gardaí are present.
In the video, men dressed in black and covering their faces with masks, can be seen inside a property removing items belonging to the tenants from the property and placing them on the street outside.
Three Gardaí are also present in the video-- and while it appears that the tenants who are being evicted were the ones who called them for assistance, the officers use their presence to allow the masked men to continue the eviction.
"You have no right to be here anymore," one officer in the video tells an upset tenant, because a member of the private security firm has documentation stating the tenants must be evicted.
One officer can then be heard telling the tenant, "It's not my responsibility if you're homeless".
The tenants maintain that they had paid their rent, but the landlord had not paid the mortgage.
"I've told you already, it's not my responsibility if you're homeless" says the Garda to one of the 9 tenants illegally evicted last night in Phibsboro.
It is, however, their responsibility to oversee the eviction apparently. (No, it's not) pic.twitter.com/sTUwJpQBgf
— Dublin Central Housing Action (@D_C_H_A) August 13, 2020
The building has been involved in a legal dispute and was sold two months ago to a property fund, according to The Journal.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) have written to the Garda Commissioner regarding the "allegedly illegal eviction" and enquiring about the presence of Gardaí at the eviction.
“Video footage emerged this morning which showed gardaí inside a private dwelling as an allegedly illegal eviction was occurring, interacting with the tenants and informing them they ‘had no right’ to be there", the ICCL wrote in a statement.
“It is reported that the tenants had not received proper notice of the eviction and that at least one of them is in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).”
Dublin, Ireland 2020
Illegal Eviction of nine people onto the streets - two weeks after @fiannafailparty @finegael and @greenparty_ie lifted the ban on evictions during a Pandemic. #StopEvictions #not1homehttps://t.co/linVD3h59r pic.twitter.com/zQRuvijgSE
— Mick Caul 😷 (@caulmick) August 13, 2020
“ICCL considers An Garda Síochána should not be playing a supportive role in private evictions unless it is a necessary and proportionate response to actual or threatened criminal behaviour.”
An Garda Síochána responded to a query from The Journal stating the garda members were present following a 999 emergency call, allegedly from the tenants themselves, and Gardaí remained at the scene "to prevent breaches of the peace and ensure the safety of all persons involved".
They would not comment on the content of the video.
Cllr Anthony Flynn, who is CEO of homeless charity Inner City Helping Homeless, said the charity had accommodated the nine tenants after their eviction.
"Thrown out onto the streets illegally by a private security company," Mr Flynn wrote on Twitter. "Told all they could be offered was a sleeping bag. And not a peep about it!
"Has making people homeless become normal?
It is understood that the nine tenants have taken legal aid by solicitor Gary Daly and have since been allowed to re-enter the property, however during the course of the eviction "the toilets were smashed, the electricity was switched off and there were doors that were pulled off", Mr Flynn told BreakingNews.ie.
An illegal eviction took place in Berkeley Road yesterday. Nine people where left without a place to sleep last night.
After taking legal advice today repossession of the property has occurred. #BanEvictions pic.twitter.com/8efSo33EFX
— Cllr. Anthony Flynn (@AnthonyICHH) August 13, 2020
The ICHH CEO has called for electricians, carpenters and plumbers to volunteer to assist in getting the house back to a liveable condition.
The tenants of the property are expected to attend Mountjoy Prison today, 14 August, in order to make a complaint regarding the "criminal damage and theft of their property", Cllr Flynn stated.
"We requested today [that their belongings] be returned, they weren't."