Thursday 27 April 2017

'In Apollo House there is no reason to be afraid' - Mattress Mick says activists aren't going anywhere

Mattress Mick
Mattress Mick
Protestors surround Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Activists will not leave Apollo House until superior accommodation is provided, according Mick 'Mattress Mick' Flynn.

Last month at the High Court Mr Justice Gilligan gave the occupants, many of whom are homeless, until 12noon Wednesday to vacate the property. Earlier today, the High Court dismissed an application by the occupiers of Apollo House for an extra week before they have to leave the building.

Protestors at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Protestors at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Charlotte Knee, Phobsboro pictured with her 12 day old daughter Iza at The Apollo House Rally today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Ben Gilroy, Direct Democracy Ireland is greeted by protestors at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Rosie Leonard and Tommy Gavin, Irish Housing Network pictured at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Protestors at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Home Sweet Home Security manning the gates at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
"Hope" just out of sight in the window of Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Protestors at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Rosie Leonard pictured addressing Protestors at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Protestors at Apollo House today. Actors dramatise the situation. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Protestors at Apollo House today. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN

Mick Flynn, known for his alias Mattress Mick, discussed the situation with Joe Duffy on Today's RTÉ Liveline.

Mr Flynn is a supporter of the group and he told the presenter the key reason for activists not vacating the property is because the alternative accommodation that was provided to some residents is not suitable. 

When asked if they are going to defy the court order, Mattress Mick replied "That is the plan at the moment yes... we were led to believe and were told that the accommodation that was to be offered to residents would be better than what is there at the moment. Now some of the residents were relocated, but the accommodation they were given is not up to same standard even as Apollo House.

"It is very disappointing and some have actually returned to Apollo House because of the state of the accomodation. "

He added: "In Apollo House Joe, the safety, the warmth, the security [is there], there is no reason to be afraid. Some of the residents that I've spoken to - I've been down there nearly every day this week - and some of the residents that were relocated down there weren't comfortable with the accommodation that was given to them."

Mr Flynn also said that the court order to leave the building came as a shock to activists.

He said: "I am actually not down there today myself, but I was speaking to people down there. It was a bit of a shock, as you all know there is a massive protest taking there at the moment, of people coming out in support of the Home Sweet Home group.

"What happened was not expected.

He reiterated his belief that activists will remain in the building, stating ""I think they will stay there, they will fight the corner on behalf of the people. They will not allow them to be thrown out into inferior accommodation," before adding "Apollo House is not a hotel, but it is safe haven for a lot of vulnerable people."

The application for the extension was brought over the suitability of alternative accommodation on offer to homeless people in Apollo House. However, dismissing the application, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said the court "could not get involved in a dispute over the standard of alternative accommodation."

Any issue about the quality of accommodation fro homeless people was "a matter for government" and "not one for the courts," the Judge added.

The application for an extension was opposed by the Nama appointed receivers who own the building.

Rossa Fanning SC for the receivers said the court should not entertain the application for a further stay because of a dispute over the quality of alternative accommodation.

A large group has since gathered outside the building to protest the High Court order.

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