- 16 Dec 16
The coalition, named ‘Home Sweet Home’, includes Hozier, Liam O Maonlaí and Damien Dempsey.
A vacant Nama-owned property in Dublin has been taken over by “concerned citizens”, including high-profile personalities and is being used to accommodate homeless people.
According to the Irish Times, activists gained access to the property in the capital’s south inner-city at around 11pm and turned on electricity in the building and are working to turn on water.
On Friday morning five activists were at the gates of the property and said they expected a large number of supporters to join them during the day.
A garda spokesman said that gardaí were called to the area at about 12.30am on Friday morning. He described the incident as “peaceful” and said “gardaí are no longer at the scene but are liaising closely with parties involved.”
The action was organised by the ‘Home Sweet Home’, coalition which includes trade unionists, charities, poets, actor John Connors and high-profile artists and singers including Hozier, Liam O Maonlaí, Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey, Conor O’Brien of The Villagers and members of the band Kodaline, all of whom attended the opening of the building.
However, it is understood that the musicians did not enter the building.
Around 30 mattresses were delivered to the building by “Mattress Mick”.
A video released by the coalition last night documents the struggles of homeless families in Dublin:
Speaking with The Irish Times, Co-founder of Home Sweet Home, trade unionist Brendan Ogle described the property in the south inner-city as “lying empty and belonging to us, the Irish people”, he said the “intervention” had two “key components” - a practical one to provide “safe, warm accommodation”, and to “focus national and international attention on the unacceptability of buildings lying empty while people are homeless”.
“We want to appeal to the goodwill of the powers-that-be and to say, ‘Let’s pull together as a nation and end homelessness. There is no need for it’.”
The most recent rough-sleeper count in Dublin, conducted on November 22nd, found 142 people sleeping out on the streets and in parks.
This represented 40 per cent increase since the spring count and a more than 50 per cent rise since last winter.