Protesters enter county council building over motion on housing

Two councillors walked out in protest of motion delay

People Before Profit councillors Melisa Halpin and Hugh Lewis had raised a motion regarding a rise in the rent cap and the resourcing of appropriate emergency accommodation.

People Before Profit councillors Melisa Halpin and Hugh Lewis had raised a motion regarding a rise in the rent cap and the resourcing of appropriate emergency accommodation.

Tue, Apr 15, 2014, 01:00

Two People Before Profit councillors walked out in protest at a Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council meeting on Monday night after a motion they had requested be prioritised was delayed until towards the end of the meeting.

Councillors Melisa Halpin and Hugh Lewis had raised a motion calling for the council to request an urgent meeting with Government representatives to call for a rise in the rent cap and the resourcing of appropriate emergency accommodation in the council area, a motion jointly proposed by Independent councillor Victor Boyhan.

A number of protesters who had congregated outside subsequently entered the council building for a short time. Gardaí were called to the building after a report that about 40 protesters had tried to gain access to the council chamber where the meeting was being held. However, they left peacefully a short time later.

Speaking after the meeting Ms Halpin said that a lack of social housing and issues around rent caps were “having an impact all over the country but it’s having a severe impact in Dún Laoghaire because of extraordinarily high rents” while Mr Lewis said “rent caps just don’t meet the reality for people in the area that we’re in”.

In the chamber Fianna Fáil councillor Cormac Devlin supported the motion. It was subsequently debated at the meeting along with a similar motion forwarded by Labour councillor Richard Humphreys. Both motions were defeated.