Solidarity with “Home Sweet Home” occupation

Statement from AAA councillor and Socialist Party member Michael O’Brien on the occupation of Apollo House by housing rights activists with “Home Sweet Home”

Press statement: Councillor Michael O’Brien, Anti Austerity Alliance, Beaumont Donaghmede ward, Dublin City Council

Emergency motion submitted for tomorrow’s Dublin City Council North Central Area Committee meeting in Coolock calling for official recognition of Apollo House emergency accommodation and withdrawal of injunction

Commenting on foot of an emergency motion he has just submitted for tomorrow (Monday’s) North Central Area Committee meeting of Dublin City Council in the Civic Offices, Bunratty Road, Coolock, Anti Austerity Alliance Councillor Michael O’Brien said:

“The text of the motion reads as follows and speaks for itself:

That this area committee:

– Commends the actions of activists and celebrities, many of whom are from the North Central area, behind Home Sweet Home initiative who have occupied Apollo House since the night of Thursday 15th December to render it habitable for people rough sleeping on Dublin’s streets.
– Furthermore commends the widespread public support that has manifested itself in terms of volunteers and donations
– Recognises the steady increase in the uptake of accommodation at Apollo House, rising to 30 as of Saturday 17th December, by people who were prior to this initiative rough sleeping
– Deplores the fact that an injunction has been served on the people occupying Apollo House by those claiming ownership of the building and calls upon them to withdraw their action.
– Calls upon Dublin City Council to recognise Apollo House as a bona fide homeless hostel and to ensure that its residents’ time there is wholly reckonable as time served in emergency accommodation from the point of view of them progressing on the priority homeless housing list.

“Tomorrow will be the first opportunity elected councillors and council officials will have had to formally discuss this development. I note the sniffy attitude, particularly from Minister Coveney, to what I would describe as a legitimate and justified act of civil disobedience. The well planned no nonsense approach of the activists stands in marked contrast to the snail’s pace approach of the government who are totally wrapped up in the property rights and the rights of developers and landlords to turn a profit from a basic human need.

“There is also practical aspect to my motion which seeks recognition by Dublin City Council that those who stay in Apollo House be regarded as Homeless Priority on the council’s housing list and will progress on that list in no less a manner than any other person staying in officially recognised emergency accommodation.”

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