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Union fights for tenants in Phibsboro

A ‘No Evictions’ protest organised by the Community Action Tenants Union (CATU) took place last Monday afternoon after tenants in Phibsboro were threatened with eviction.

The lunchtime protest was held outside the tenants’ front garden, where locals and CATU members gathered around and supported the tenants.

“Our landlord is trying to evict us so he can sell property, but he doesn’t need to evict us,” said Aideen, one of the affected tenants and a member of the CATU Phibsboro-Glasnevin branch. She said the landlord served them an eviction notice even though the property wasn’t on the market.

After trying to contact the landlord for weeks, Aideen and her roommate, Clara, received calls and messages regarding their eviction notice on Wednesday, 2 February.

CATU members gather around the tenant’s house for a ‘No Eviction’ protest. Image: Aoife Daly

They haven’t been able to find any new homes to rent in Dublin because of the high rent and lack of affordable housing.

“We haven’t been able to find anywhere […] There’s just nothing affordable, it’s crazy prices,” she said.

“But it’s great to know that we can do something and that there are people who support us.”

Seamus Farrell, a member of CATU, said that the union have been trying their best to negotiate with the landlord.

“We’ve been trying to push the landlord to negotiate with us […] He’s going to have to talk to us as a union. We see this as harassment. He needs to show some respect to the tenants,” Farrell said.

Tenant Aideen hanging up a CATU flag outside her home. Image: Aoife Daly

Farrell went through a similar situation last year. “Myself and my partner had an eviction last year in the summer, and we had a baby on the way,” he said.

“It has to end. People need security and affordable housing.”

“This happens to go under the radar a lot because people are afraid to speak up and are living in fear of the landlords around the area,” he added.

Sam Forde, a tour guide and member of CATU, lived in Vienna for a year and only recently came back to live in Dublin. He mentioned that housing in Vienna is “utopian” compared to Dublin.

“In Vienna, 65% of people live in public housing, and here we have this ridiculous idea that social housing is the stigmatisation of public housing,” said Forde.

“It’s mad how at this point of our history this is the richest Ireland has been, and yet, somehow, we’re told that by the powers that they can’t build on that scale,” he added.

The tenants still fear the threat of eviction. In a statement, CATU promised that community action would ensue if the eviction threat goes further.

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