Tuesday 20 August 2019

Marchers demand action

ANGER: Crowds at the Raise the Roof protest in Dublin yesterday. Picture: Caroline Quinn
ANGER: Crowds at the Raise the Roof protest in Dublin yesterday. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Alan Sherry

Thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin yesterday to demand the Government takes more action on homelessness and the housing crisis.

The Raise the Roof Rally for Housing organisers called for major investment in public housing, more development of affordable housing, an end to evictions and more legal rights on housing and rent control.

There are currently over 10,000 adults and children in temporary emergency accommodation in Ireland and those at the march said government policy was failing.

A crowd estimated between 12,000 and 15,000 made their way from Parnell Square to the quays before returning to the GPO, where campaigners including Fr Peter McVerry addressed the crowd.

Musicians Damien Dempsey, Paddy Casey and Frances Black were among those to entertain the crowds. Dempsey told the Sunday Independent the Government seemed to have a "laissez-faire" approach to the housing crisis. "There are 4,000 homeless children and the country is minted," he said.

"I was in Berlin last year and there were loads of Irish artists living over there because they can't afford to live here any more. It's driving all the artists out of the country. Things could absolutely be better."

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

Sunday Independent

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