Protest set for Dublin to demand national housing emergency

Demonstration this Saturday as advocacy groups call for action on destitute children

Ireland’s largest trade union Siptu will be represented at Saturday’s march. It criticised “decades of underinvestment”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Ireland’s largest trade union Siptu will be represented at Saturday’s march. It criticised “decades of underinvestment”. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Housing charities and trade unions will call on the Government to announce a national housing emergency during a protest in Dublin on Saturday.

The demonstration organised by the National Homeless and Housing Coalition will mean crowds gather outside Department of Environment offices at the Custom House at 2pm on May 28th before marching to the GPO where a rally will take place.

It comes as advocacy groups call for action to be taken to arrest a rise in the number of homeless children and to offer suitable housing options for displaced families.

The coalition comprises in excess of 30 groups including the Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland and Dublin Simon. Several trade unions and political parties are also affiliated to it.

The protest has been organised through the coalition’s Facebook page, which has close to 700 followers. Organisers have not indicated an expected turnout for the event.

Leadership and resolve

A statement on the page made reference to Department of Environment figures effective between April 18th and 24th showing 2,121 homeless children in 1,037 families across the State that week.

Ireland’s largest trade union Siptu will be represented at Saturday’s march. Its campaigns and equality organiser Karan O’Loughlin called on the Government to show leadership and resolve the crisis.

“Decades of underinvestment have resulted in local authority housing lists growing to beyond 100,000. This has resulted in ever increasing numbers of individuals and families finding themselves either homeless or at risk of homelessness,” she said.

“Housing is a human rights issue and a trade union issue. We are urging Siptu members to take part in this important protest. We also urge the Government, and all of the political parties represented in the Oireachtas, to provide the leadership needed to resolve the housing crisis,” she added.