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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Apollo House homeless campaign set to go national

Lina Tumene, with her children, Mia McGauley (5), and Modetas Tumenas (11), pictured before they gave a donation into Apollo House yesterday. Photo: Damien Eagers
Lina Tumene, with her children, Mia McGauley (5), and Modetas Tumenas (11), pictured before they gave a donation into Apollo House yesterday. Photo: Damien Eagers

Alan O'Keeffe

Campaigners behind Apollo House are planning to take their campaign against homelessness nationwide.

Spokeswoman Rosie Leonard said the campaign will be expanded to other cities around the country.

Home Sweet Home campaign and Irish Housing Network are also not ruling out seeking an extension to the court-mandated deadline to vacate the Dublin building.

That is despite being ordered to leave by the High Court on January 11 at the latest.

Read more: 'Emotional' day as homeless treated to Christmas dinner

However, the group told RTÉ their current focus is on applying political pressure over the homeless crisis.

Meanwhile, keeping heat in the occupied Apollo House office building is a major priority for the Home Sweet Home Campaign.

Thousands of gallons of heating oil has been purchased since the beginning of the occupation.

Volunteer plumber Johnny Byrne has been working to keep the heating and water supplies functioning since the early days of the occupation.

Heating

He said two deliveries of oil, each of 5,000 gallons, have helped make the office building more comfortable to live in.

The second delivery of oil was made on St Stephen's Day.

If the heating was on constantly, some 2,000 gallons of oil would be used every four days, he said.

A spokesman for the Home Sweet Home Campaign said the heating is now being switched on three times a day for a few hours which has succeeded in halving the oil usage.

Mr Byrne (54), from Dundrum, Dublin, also helped install two new shower units on each floor. He said that ESB staff inspected the premises to ensure the electric supply was being used safely.

Irish Independent

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