Beyond The Barricade


Barricade Inn FrontbarricadeinnexteriorBarricade Inn



This morning.

The Barricade Inn squat, Parnell Street, Dublin 1.

Awaiting eviction this week.

The open letter reads:

This building was laying vacant and abandoned in the heart of our capital city for over a decade, left to wreck and ruin. About a year ago, a group of squatters entered and spent months renovating the premises and restoring life to the building. They proceeded to open the premises to the public for meetings, workshops, gigs, etc. They ran a café, a library and a computer room and provided a space open to the public, free to use.

Elsewhere, Dublin is filled with glittery shops and profit machinery breathing in and out profit-seeking machine people. Spaces like The Barricade Inn offered an alternative. The group that opened this space also had the audacity to challenge Ireland’s housing crisis head-on by placing their own bodies in the politico-legal grey zone of private property rights versus common sense.

Following in the tradition of political action taken by groups such as the Dublin Housing Action Committee (DHAC) – an organization which emerged during the 1960’s to tackle similar problems of unaffordable housing and perceived injustices as a large number of properties then too stood empty in the capital in the midst of a housing crisis – activists at the Barricade Inn took up residency in the newly opened building. The same struggle continues to this day. I quote an excerpt from the DHAC, Bulletin No 1, 19691;

Laws that allow and encourage landlords to knock down sound houses or leave them idle during a housing emergency are immoral, and the courts and judges that uphold them are in contempt of justice.

“Throughout the city of Dublin there are hundreds of flats and houses lying idle (vacant possession being more important and profitable than housing families) while 10,000 families are homeless. For this reason we call on all homeless families to join the DHAC and to occupy all vacant private accommodation...

“The high increase of property value in Dublin is being exploited to the full by the landlords and speculators. These landlords feed off the desperate need of Dublin’s homeless for accommodation…”

What is needed is a change. We need not simply crush the rentier class, as a gardener crushes the common garden snail between forefinger and thumb in the creation of a perfect garden… as appealing and all as that fantasy may sound – to destroy the parasite that feeds upon the masses – the problem we face runs deeper than that. What is required is a more fundamental, more radical reorganisation of our society and its politico-economic constellation. But there is little point in evoking the word “Revolution” without concrete and reasonable objectives to stand upon.

Perhaps affordable housing or innovative cultural space within our city is such a reasonable objective… I mean, what else is going to be done with buildings such as this?

Thanks Tomas Lynch


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24 thoughts on “Beyond The Barricade

  1. Hank

    “Elsewhere, Dublin is filled with glittery shops and profit machinery breathing in and out profit-seeking machine people”


    1. Neilo

      No thanks to radical reorganisation of society to better align with your trustafarian weltanschauung or any of your oul’ nonsense. Pay rent or hit the bricks.

        1. Romy Thomas

          The natives born under the Sign Pisces are generous and emotional. They are quite popular in their social circles for being a genuine friend to everyone. They value human relations the most and put people above everything else. However, they also possess some negative traits.

        2. Tighe

          A bunch of lunatics? Sheesh, if you say so then. Hope they move in beside you when they’re finished up on Parnell st.

          1. inPisces

            I already know a few of them I’m sure. Lunacy isn’t an issue to me like it is for some people. Middle class bores extending their ‘student grant’ years while refusing to get a job is a mild form of lunacy though I’m sure you can agree albeit benign.

  2. Kolmo

    Fair balls to them. The place needs a shake-up. The city could be beautiful, properly used instead of the increasingly speculator driven dystopian grimhole look, populated by all strata of society to balance out the edge the city always seems to give-off

  3. ahyeah

    Stopped reading at “wreck and ruin” – utter sh!te from some teenager who’s more opinionated than educated.

  4. Peter Dempsey

    Putting owners in inverted commas is sure sign that the writer is aloof, condescending and thinks that they’re better than everybody else.

  5. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    How many here have lived in a squat?

    I can’t hear you…

    I spent 18 months in one myself in London, back in the early 90s.
    -The best 18 months of my life.

    I met the most diverse group of people imaginable. Every day was unpredictably magic in it’s own way, and the consistent vibe was Peace & Love inna Reggae/Punk stylee.
    Good times.

    I hope my kids get to live in a squat before dey settle down dem.

    1. Burst Balloon

      Yeah, good times, but then you tire of it and rejoin society.

      How come all these free-spirited hippies always get their fill of being poor and dirty and eventually settle into a regular life? Is it like something that you need to get out of your system before you grow up?

    2. scottser

      yep, i lived in squats in london and den haag. i also did a CE scheme in the city arts centre back in the day – a fine example of what can be achieved in a squatted building.

  6. some old queen

    While I fully support people reclaiming these buildings, these guys really need to work on their communications. There is a wealth of public support for a movement to reclaim such buildings but it has to be tapped into with out flowery political abstracts and side kicks at the mainstream because that is negative.

    In the worst accommodation crisis in the history of the state, if for whatever reasons the owners of buildings are allowing them go to ruin then it is reasonable that they should be reclaimed. Whiter that be activists or the councils (or both), something must be done.

    Squatting is a world wide movement and it is a little know fact that it in some cases it serves the owners of buildings very well too. And as for the media. Why is the exclusive focus on developers and new builds? There are plenty of people who would prefer to live in an building in the city center than some cardboard shoe box five miles out.

  7. Digs

    Should be pepper sprayed and bludgeoned then shot with rubber bullets. After that they should be made wear orange jump suits and scrub the building with lidl toilet brushes. Just sayin…

  8. 15 cents

    as soon as this article went up .. it was doomed. on broadsheet anyway. all the commenters here are really right-wing, 1950s dad hittin you with his belt sorts of people. thought there’d be loads more ‘hose those hippies down” sort of comments. maybe they knew they were being baited by the article. maybe its too much of a red rag to a bull for them to get heavily involved.

    1. Jess

      Thats pretty much why I stopped looking at this site (arrived to this post as it was linked from somewhere else). It used to be fairly balanced commentary with occasionally witty things, now it’s some of the nastiest right wing, borderline psycho commentary of any Irish website.

  9. Drebbin

    Wait, he thinks gardeners should crush snails with their fingers? And he runs a cafe?

    Cancel the sandwich, boss, I think I’ve changed my mind.

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