Apollo House in Dublin was squatted on Thursday 15 December. This building is the former Department of Social Protection offices, which is now being used to house the homeless.
A high court judge yesterday granted an injunction that directs the Home Sweet Home occupiers of Apollo House to vacate the building by noon on January 11th. This means that the occupiers will remain in the building until after Christmas which is some good news but it still means that the State is quite willing to forcibly eject people from safe accommodation back out onto freezing streets or into unsafe, sub standard accommodation.
[What follows is an extract from the Irish Housing Network statement yesterday]
“This morning Sam McGuinness of Dublin Simon Community said that there were 88 people sleeping on the streets, and that a further 70 had to sleep on the floor of Merchant’s Quay cafe. We have a legitimate and deep concern over the Government’s insistence that ‘there are enough beds’.
The residents of Apollo house have made a home there. They sleep in the same bed every night. They can leave their belongings somewhere safe. They know that it is their bed, it is their home and that they have the power to make choices about what happens there.
There are skilled, experienced volunteers on hand to support them when needed. They can plan for Christmas day, and know that they’ll be warm, will have a good meal and will be able to share it with people that they have come to know and trust. This is not something the State, or NAMA for that matter, is in a position to offer them.
If the government would like to offer solutions, we would ask that they ensure that there are enough secure homes for people – that all of the state assets, including those owned by NAMA are used as a priority to create stable, secure and empowering places for people to make a home in.
Until then, we will stay. A huge thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who has helped and donated. We’ve begun to redistribute donations to other homeless accommodation centres in the area. Together we can help end this awful crisis, and ensure a guaranteed right to housing for all.” [end of statement]