Thursday 21 September 2017

Thousands turn out in march for the homeless

Protesters wave banners in the annual May Day march from the Garden of Remembrance to Liberty Hall in Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren
Protesters wave banners in the annual May Day march from the Garden of Remembrance to Liberty Hall in Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren

Ian Begley

Thousands of activists gathered at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin yesterday for the annual May Day march.

Workers groups and housing campaigners marched to chants of "We are young, we will fight, housing is a human right".

The rally concluded at Liberty Hall with speeches from Migrant Rights Centre Ireland director Edel McGinley and activist Rita Fagan.

President of the Dublin Council of Trade Unions, Pat Bolger, said: "The march will highlight the fact that housing is a right not a privilege and that public land should be used to build public housing and not for private profit."

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry used the occasion to call for "an effective public home-building programme".

He said: "We need the Government to introduce legislation and to prevent the banks and landlords from evicting households into homelessness.

"We need proper rent caps, not 4pc per year for three years. The rent cap that the minister has introduced will not stop a lot of people falling into homelessness." 

Read more: Record spring rough sleeper count, as almost 7,500 people homeless in Ireland

The Government has stated that it is addressing the housing crisis.

Recently, Housing Minister Simon Coveney secured funding of €5.3bn for 47,000 social houses to be added to the local authority housing stock by 2021.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News