We won’t be quiet: Seven reasons I went to the Dublin housing march

Rose Gartland is a proud Irish woman, but ashamed of how people are being treated

Rose Gartland: “We won’t be quiet about homelessness; our collective voice will be heard and the Government will listen.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Rose Gartland: “We won’t be quiet about homelessness; our collective voice will be heard and the Government will listen.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 
  1. I’m marching because I’m lucky to have a roof over my head, but I know there are thousands who are not.
  2. I’m marching because I’m tired of walking to work every morning and passing by derelict or vacant buildings that could be used for homes.
  3. I’m marching for the 1,778 families who accessed emergency accommodation in July 2018.
  4. I’m marching with the workers who are paying half of their wage to their landlord.
  5. I’m marching with the asylum seekers who are being turned away from accessing direct provision because there is no space – a clear breach of their human rights and a breach of the State’s duty under the EU Reception Conditions Directive.
  6. I’m marching with the parents who want to find a home for their families but have to watch hotel after hotel pop up around Dublin city.
  7. I’m marching with the tireless and generous workers of Ireland’s homelessness and housing organisations. This work shouldn’t be necessary, but it is crucial.

I’m proud to be Irish, but I’m ashamed of how people are being treated in this country. From families living in hotels to vulnerable people living on the streets. Where is the dignity?

I feel the success of repealing the Eighth Amendment has empowered Irish people and has given us a new voice. Younger generations of Irish people are being mobilised at a grassroots level and the solidarity shown between generations during the Repeal campaign was inspiring. I hope we can recreate that solidarity now.

The Repeal Campaign taught us that Irish people won’t stand to be ignored. We won’t be quiet about homelessness; our collective voice will be heard and the Government will listen.