Friday 15 December 2017

'Fear creeps in' as Apollo House deadline looms

The Nama-controlled building was taken over before Christmas by housing activists frustrated by the homeless crisis in Ireland. Photo: Tony Gavin
The Nama-controlled building was taken over before Christmas by housing activists frustrated by the homeless crisis in Ireland. Photo: Tony Gavin

Gavin White

The deadline for leaving Apollo House is looming and "fear is creeping in" for residents, a spokesperson for the campaign group Home Sweet Home has said.

The Nama-controlled building was taken over before Christmas by housing activists frustrated by the homeless crisis in Ireland.

Freda Hughes, from the Home Sweet Home group behind the occupation, told the Irish Independent: "We're getting close to the wire now and residents are sort of being left in the dark."

Talks between the activists and Housing Minister Simon Coveney failed to bring a resolution on Friday.

Ms Hughes added the group has had "informal confirmation" it will have a second meeting with Mr Coveney before the January 11 eviction date.

"Fear is creeping in but despite the deadline looming there is still an empowering sense of community amongst the residents," Ms Hughes added.

"Volunteers also feel they have a duty of care to the residents until suitable accommodation is found for them."

They could not comment further while negotiations are ongoing.

While discussions proceed between the Government and the Home Sweet Home group, residents have added more skills to the volunteer team.

One resident has offered to give computer classes and another is working with the media team for Apollo House on graphic design.

Another person who is sheltering in Apollo House is working with the maintenance team and has been offered an apprenticeship with one of the volunteers' firms.

Irish Independent

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