Sunday 18 February 2018

Violent burglar is 'not Apollo House group founder'

The Apollo House building Photo: Conor Ó Mearain
The Apollo House building Photo: Conor Ó Mearain
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Union chief Brendan Ogle has rejected claims that a violent convicted burglar associated with the Home Sweet Home campaign was a founding member of the group which has occupied Apollo House in Dublin city centre.

It emerged yesterday that Quentin Sheridan - a homeless man with at least 39 convictions - left Apollo House after an incident with residents and other homeless campaigners.

Sheridan, who was imprisoned for terrorising a woman with a seven-inch breadknife, described himself as one of the founding members of the Home Sweet Home campaign.

Last night, he confirmed he left Apollo House after falling out with organisers and claimed he would set up a new campaign.

Irish Housing Network spokeswoman Rosi Leonard said Sheridan was "part of the original group of people involved" in taking over Apollo House.

Read more: Nama defends social housing efforts as campaigners demand action

However, Mr Ogle, a spokesman for the campaign, said Sheridan was not one of the group's founding members. The union activist said he did "not accept" the convicted burglar was a central figure in the establishment of the campaign and even insisted there were "no founding members".

"Lots of people describe themselves as lots of things. When I get drunk I describe myself as Elvis Presley. It doesn't mean I am," he told the Sunday Independent.

Mr Ogle confirmed Sheridan left Apollo House a "week and a half ago" after an "incident".

Read more: 'We won't leave Apollo House until everyone is sorted out'

"There has been one incident in Apollo House in three weeks which for a homeless hostel is bordering on miraculous," he said.

The Apollo House campaigners are due before the High Court next week where a judge will decide if they are illegally occupying the Nama- controlled property.

Campaigners met Housing Minister Simon Coveney last Friday to discus alternative accommodation arrangements for the people living in the abandoned building.

Sunday Independent

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