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Heavy handed response to Housing protest "deeply concerning" - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

11 September, 2018 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has expressed his concern at the manner in which Housing activists occupying a House at Frederick St Dublin have been removed.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;

"I understand that the building which was taken over by housing activists was empty for three years before it was occupied. It is quite extraordinary then, that merely three weeks after this occupation began, that it has been cleared out by armed gardaí.

"The accounts I have heard and what I have seen on social media are very concerning. It certainly gives an impression of a heavy handed, overreaction to a peaceful Housing occupation.

"I have received reports of Private security arriving in unmarked cars, being escorted in by armed gardaí, and also reports of protestors being threatened with pepper spray. I have also received reports of an injured protester.

"If these accounts prove to be correct, then this constitutes an absolutely disproportionate response.

"It is important that it is clarified whether the security firm who the gardai were facilitating had the appropriate documentation of identification, and under what legal basis they were there.

"Families up and down the country will look on at this with concern, particularly those who are potentially facing eviction in the short term, if this is the heavy handed approach that is to be taken to facilitate private security in enforcing the will of landlords.

"The approach taken to the victims of the Housing crisis, and those who are campaigning for change, is markedly different to that taken against slum landlords.

"Minister Flanagan needs to examine what has happened tonight, and should refer the matter to GSOC."

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