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Thursday 29 September 2016

Families to protest over housing mix at Irish Glass Bottle site

Published 29/08/2016 | 02:30

Locals in Ringsend will present their plans to Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Pic: Colin O'Riordan
Locals in Ringsend will present their plans to Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Pic: Colin O'Riordan

A protest will be held at City Hall in Dublin by Ringsend and Irishtown residents to demand the former Irish Glass Bottle Company site be handed over entirely to affordable and council housing.

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Locals have expressed their concern that spiralling rents and mortgage costs in the area are leading to families leaving for homes in commuter towns.

"It used to be a problem with kids having to leave and relocate to Wexford and commuter towns. Now their parents are following them," said Tom Crilly, of the Irish Glass Bottle Site Action Group.

"Over the past number of years, Google and Facebook have come and that is great, but now people can't afford to rent or buy here any more.

"It's having a devastating impact on the community.

"GAA clubs and soccer clubs are even struggling to recruit members. You're losing whole families in the area."

The group has organised a protest to take place before next Monday's meeting of Dublin City Council.

"It's going to be an information protest. We are hoping to meet the councillors as they are going in and share with them our concerns," said Mr Crilly.

The group has been meeting architects every fortnight and will submit its vision for the area to the council and to Housing Minister Simon Coveney.

Mr Crilly said the area needed more shops, schools and other amenities. The former Irish Glass Bottle Company land is part of an 80-acre site zoned to be developed.

Mr Crilly said 100pc of it should be developed into affordable and council housing.

The Government has designated it a strategic development zone to allow 3,000 new homes and 130,000 square metres of offices and retail space to be developed using fast-track planning powers.

In May, the minister suggested that 10pc of homes would be used for social housing.

At the time, the community group said this showed he did not appreciate the scale of the housing crisis.

Annette Mooney of the group said money must be made available for social housing. "Nama is already scheduled to make €1bn in profit," she said.

"Some of this money must now be used for council housing. Nama is supposed to contribute to the social and economic development of the State. It has become a vehicle for bringing vulture funds to Ireland and restoring speculative developers to their former glory."

Irish Independent

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