Owner of Dublin building claims trespassers are preventing him selling property

Peter McGovern claims the locks were changed on the property he owns on Blessington Street in Dublin 1
Owner of Dublin building claims trespassers are preventing him selling property

High Court reporter

An owner of a Dublin city centre property has claimed before the High Court that his efforts to sell the house are being hampered because it is being illegally occupied by several unknown persons who have no right to be there.

Peter McGovern claims that earlier this month he discovered that the locks had been changed, rendering him unable to access the three storey over basement terraced house he owns at 35 Blessington Street, Dublin 1.

He claims that he and his wife acquired the property, which he had previously rented out to students and had used as a creche, in 1998.

They decided to sell the property, but claim those efforts are being prejudiced by those in occupation.

As a result Mr McGovern, represented by Peter Shanley BL, has gone to the High Court where on Thursday he secured an injunction requiring all those in occupation to immediately vacate and cease trespassing at the property.

The injunction was secured against Mr Dara Daly, who it is alleged is one of the persons currently occupying the property and several others residing there, whose identities Mr McGovern has been unable to ascertain.

Seeking the order Mr Shanley said that a locksmith hired by his client, shortly after he was unable to get into the property, was unable to carry out any work because of persons inside the house kicking against the front door.

Counsel said when his client went to the house a woman, who was sitting outside the property, told Mr McGovern that he (the plaintiff) had "no right to come in."

Court order

Counsel said after his client had contacted gardaí 20 to 30 persons showed up at the property's front door and remained there.

Several people from within the building spoke to the crowd, counsel added.

Counsel said that a banner was attached with the words "Homes For All" to the railings of the house.

In addition, a person with a vest with CATU printed on it handed out pamphlets to passers-by.

Gardaí informed Mr McGovern that a court order would be required before they could remove the trespassers.

Counsel said that his client subsequently observed other persons enter the house. It is believed that there are up to six people in the property.

Counsel said those in the house, who he described as squatters, have no right to be there and have refused to leave his client's property.

As a result, the plaintiff had no option other than come to court and seek orders.

At Thursday's vacation sitting of the High Court, Mr Justice Mark Heslin said based on the evidence put before the court he was satisfied to grant Mr McGovern the injunction.

When the matter was called on there was no appearance by, nor any representations made on behalf of either Mr Dara Daly or anyone else alleged to be occupying the property.

Seeking the order Mr Shanley told the court that the defendants and all those living in the building had been formally notified in advance of his client's intention to seek the injunction.

The judge said that he was further satisfied that the people in the building had been served with formal notice of the injunction proceedings.

The order will remain in place pending the full hearing of the plaintiff's claim.

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