Cork homeless campaigners protest in solidarity with Apollo House

Up to 50 protestors gather at Cork City Hall to highlight appalling’ homeless situation

Campaigners against homelessness staged a protest at Cork City Hall on Wednesday. Photograph: Mick Nugent

Campaigners against homelessness staged a protest at Cork City Hall on Wednesday. Photograph: Mick Nugent

 

Campaigners against homelessness staged a protest at Cork City Hall on Wednesday in support of the Home Sweet Home campaign and occupation of Apollo House in Dublin.

Up to 50 protestors occupied the foyer of the administration block at Cork City Hall for 30 minutes before vacating the building and continuing with the protest outside on the street.

One of the protestors, Donal O’Sullivan told Patricia Messenger on C103’s Cork Today Show that the protest was about expressing solidarity with the homeless people in Apollo House in Dublin.

Mr O’Sullivan, a member of the Anti-Eviction Taskforce and Ballyphehane South Parish Says No, said the protest at Cork City Hall was aimed at highlighting the appalling homeless situation nationally.

“The homeless situation is absolutely appalling - there are people sleeping rough but there also the unseen homeless, people living with family and friends because they can’t afford accommodation.

“That’s the situation throughout the city and county and throughout Ireland really and all we hear is the vulture funds take over the building and they want the tenants out so they increase the rents.

“The aim at the end of the day is just to raise the rent - it’s all about making money - they make no apologies, they are here to make a profit and I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Government.

Mr O’Sullivan said that he believed the entire problem stemmed from the bank bailout and he predicted that evictions are going to increase with more people ending up sleeping on the streets.

He said that the government had backtracked on their deal with residents of Apollo House, leaving the building to go to emergency accommodation only to return dissatisfied to Apollo House.

“They were absolutely appalled by the accommodation offered to them - what does that say about Minister Simon Coveney and his promise to provide suitable accommodation for these people.

“We had this protest in solidarity with Home Sweet Home in Dublin - I have no doubt that in the future weeks ahead you will see more action here in Cork and elsewhere,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

Among those lending support was Cllr Mick Nugent of Sinn Féin who said the protest was organised by a group called Apollo House Cork to show support and solidarity with those in Dublin.

“The protest was organised by Apollo House Cork which is a group of individuals and political activists who decide to have solidarity protest to coincide with the court action in Dublin.

“We also wanted to highlight homelessness and the urgent need for more social housing and that’s why we protested at City Hall given the council is tasked with delivering housing on the ground.”