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Gardaí and members of the Connolly Youth Movement during an eviction at a property in the city
Gardaí and members of the Connolly Youth Movement during an eviction at a property in the city

Gardaí evict anti-homelessness protestors

MEMBERS of the Connolly Youth Movement have been evicted from two adjoining houses in Cork City, where they had been squatting for the past two months.

Six members of the socialist movement were removed from the property by members of An Garda Siochána, including the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) along with a representative of the Asset Management company O’Dwyer Real Estate Management.

One of the squatters, Alex Homits, who is going back to college in September to study law, said they were occupying idle and derelict houses to put them to use and to raise awareness of the homeless and housing crisis.

Mr Homits said the property had been idle for six months before they moved in and they moved in to take up adverse possession of the building, otherwise known as squatting.

The Connolly Youth Movement member said it was students and young workers inhabiting the buildings and they did not understand why members of the Emergency Response Unit were involved in evicting them from the building last Wednesday.

Mr Homits also said the Connolly Youth Movement had four people occupying another house in the city, where they had been for the past year.

“It is interesting that we have been in a house for the past year without any trouble, but in these houses, which are part of a vulture fund, we were evicted after two months by 11 gardaí and the ERU, which is for serious incidents like counter-terrorism.

“Why was the Emergency Response Unit there?”

The 24-year-old activist said the presence of the ERU, was intimidating and unnecessary for what was a civil matter between the squatters and the asset management company.

Mr Homits said he wants to use the platform of this situation to encourage more young people to occupy empty houses and to not pay extortionate rents to landlords.