FCC condemn activists who took over Balbriggan house

by Sylvia Pownall

Fingal County Council has condemned the actions of Take Back The City (TBTC) activists who entered a house at Brega in Balbriggan on Saturday.

The local authority said the house was undergoing refurbishment works ahead of being reallocated and “damage caused by the trespassers” may see this delayed.

TBTC campaign’s ‘Fingal Battalion’ said they took over the vacant council-owned house to highlight evictions and homelessness as part of a nationwide protest.

Wearing face masks and balaclavas, they hung flags and banners from the property (inset) and posted online about the takeover.

The group wrote: “Today we took a house belonging to FCC that has been empty over a year. We took this house to highlight evictions and homelessness.

“The council are doing nothing to help the situation and while people are on the streets we, the people of Ireland, can open all empty houses, banks or private [buildings] at any time.
“FCC has one of the highest numbers of people on the waiting list to be housed, and there’s a huge amount of houses boarded up for a long period of time.

“People need to make a stand and open these empty houses and help fill them. Drop down to support us in Brega Balbriggan.”

The housing activist group closed off O’Connell Bridge in Dublin city centre last Saturday as its biggest protest saw 21 rallies held nationwide.

TBTC, who hit headlines for occupying vacant properties in Dublin’s north inner city, said it’s “time for the movement to grow”.

Rallies were organised in 13 towns and cities outside Dublin while in the capital seven more were planned in the city centre, Balbriggan, UCD, Tallaght, Blanchardstown, Finglas and Crumlin.

Posting online, the group said: “Things are speeding up. The housing crisis is an island-wide problem.” The group have also planned a protest in early October.

FCC said it had a strong record on turnaround time for void properties and had recently appointed a vacant homes officer whose initial focus was on identifying units in Balbriggan and Swords suitable for social housing.

Related Articles