Sunday 16 June 2019

Housing minister surrounded by protesters at Dublin election count

People Before Profit activist Peter Dooley defended the protest saying he simply wanted to ask the minister a question.

Housing rights protesters including People Before Profit candidate Peter Dooley (left) confront Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy (Niall Carson/PA)
Housing rights protesters including People Before Profit candidate Peter Dooley (left) confront Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy (Niall Carson/PA)

By Rebecca Black, Press Association

Garda moved in at a Dublin election count after protesters confronted Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

The scene came on Sunday evening as Mr Murphy attended the local government count at the RDS.

The minister has received criticism recently after saying that young people and workers should be “excited” about co-living plans.

Eoghan Murphy surrounded by gardai after a confrontation by housing rights protesters as the counting of votes continues in the European elections at the RDS in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

At one proposed development in Dublin, 42 people would be required to share a communal kitchen.

Protesters shouted “Murphy, out, out, out” as the Fine Gael man watched election workers count votes.

Party colleagues, security and garda officers moved to form a barrier between Mr Murphy and the protesters.

There are more than 10,000 adults and children without a home and living in temporary emergency accommodation in Ireland.

Ireland’s housing crisis has sparked a number of demonstrations, mostly recently Raise The Roof earlier this month in Dublin which was attended by thousands.

Activists made a series of demands, including the construction of more public housing, an end to evictions, more robust rent controls and a right to housing formally inserted into the state’s constitution.

I think it's quite legitimate to go up and ask a question Peter Dooley

They also criticised support levels for homeless members of the Traveller community and asylum seekers living in Direct Provision centres.

People Before Profit candidate and co-founder of South Dublin Renters Union Peter Dooley said he just wanted to ask Mr Murphy a question.

“They (ministers) are shielded, they have guards protecting them at the moment,” he told the Press Association after the protest.

“A couple of minutes of discomfort of asking him a simple question about anti-eviction bills, and keeping people secure in their homes, was the simple question I asked him. He wasn’t willing to answer that question.

“A lot of people are struggling in private rented accommodation under constant threat of eviction, rents (in Dublin) are the highest in Europe, and the crisis is getting out of control.

“I think it’s quite legitimate to go up and ask a question.”

Press Association

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