On wednesday last a squat in galway was evicted.One young woman arrested for "trespass likely to cause fear in another person", after she had been woken from her bed to the sound of 3 burley men attempting to kick in the door. Meanwhile, to every 1 homeless person
are 67 deralict houses in Ireland
That morning there was only one occupant of the building.She awoke to the sounds of them trying to break in. Shortly after they eventually got in one garda arrived."he had no idea what section to arrest me under" she said.The gardai insisted bringing a squat car the whole way round the block (it was on a one way street) to bring her to the garda station 200meters down the road! There she was charged with 2 off fences which were completely unfounded. She will be up in galway district court on the 14th of october."when i return to get my things, the men that had evicted me were busy with a crowbar smashing up everything, and gutting the whole house"
The property is owned by Peter Fitzgerald has been the Director of 33 companies many in the area of construction, real estate and consultancy. Needless to say he must have benefitted a lot from the property bubble during the celtic tiger years.They are rumored to own; 2 helicopters, a Masserati, a Range rover, a new BMW and a villa in Spain and Who's to know how many properties they own in ireland.
To me this situation is madness, for someone put love into transforming somewhere into a home; which has been neglected and forgotten, and only amounts to 'capital' in the mind of the owner.
"It was really surreal watching them smash up the interior of their own house with so much satisfaction that no one else would sleep in there again"
For every 1 homeless person in ireland there are 67 empty houses lying abandoned and forgotten.Thats 289,451 empty houses!(according to 2011 census)
For me squatting challenges how this can be acceptable in our society. I know irish people's historic relationship to owning land is still strong, but i hope this attitude can change so that owners can see the advantages of their houses being occupied: It provides security from junkies and the likes entering and trashing the place, most squatters leave houses in way better nick then when they found them, and leave when the owners show up and want them out.