Alleged socialist group ordered to vacate building earmarked for Ukrainian refugees

Lefroy House on Eden Quay in Dublin City Centre was taken over by a group calling itself the Revolutionary Workers Union on May 1st
Alleged socialist group ordered to vacate building earmarked for Ukrainian refugees

High Court reporters

The Salvation Army has secured a High Court injunction requiring persons to vacate and cease trespassing on a Dublin City property in order for the building to be converted into accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.

The orders were granted on Wednesday by Ms Justice Siobhan Stack after members of a group calling itself the Revolutionary Workers Union entered Lefroy House on Dublin's Eden Quay on May 1st and have refused to leave.

The building, which the Salvation Army holds a long lease over, had been operating as emergency accommodation for minors in crisis for many years until its closure in early 2021 when funding ceased.

The charity had since been renovating the property to accommodate refugees from war-torn Ukraine and had hoped to open its doors to the first group of refugees in June.

However, those plans were put on hold after the building was allegedly broken into and occupied on May 1st by the Revolutionary Workers Union, whose members refused to vacate the property, the High Court heard.

Homeless accommodation

The Court heard the group, which has renamed the property James Connolly House, claimed on social media that it intends to use the building to accommodate homeless people.

Last week, lawyers for the Salvation Army (Republic of Ireland) Company commenced High Court proceedings against persons unknown, who it is claimed were illegally occupying and trespassing on the premises.

Following submissions by Niall Buckley Bl, for the charity, the High Court granted permission to serve notice of the Salvations Army's proceedings, where it sought an injunction requiring the property to be vacated, on the occupants.

When the matter returned before the High Court on Wednesday, Ms Justice Stack said she was satisfied the injunction should be granted and that the current occupants were aware of the legal action.

Mr Buckley told the court that based on social media posts the occupants were aware of the proceedings brought by his client.

There were no persons present in court claiming to be or represent occupants of the building or members of the union when the matter was called on.

Ms Justice Stack said she was satisfied the plaintiff had made out a strong case that was likely to succeed at a full hearing, and that any purported rights asserted on social media posts by the occupants to the property could not be established in law.

The judge said in the circumstances that she was happy to grant the Salvation Army an injunction.

The injunction also prevents anyone who has knowledge of the orders from trespassing at Lefroy House, or from interfering with the property.

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