Irish Housing Network stand with homeless residents in protest of the eviction of twenty families from emergency accommodation in Dublin

Date:

O’Connell St, July 22nd - amid Ireland’s worst housing crisis in decades, people gather outside Lynam’s hotel to protest the eviction of five homeless families, including ten children. Fifteen of the twenty families granted temporary shelter at the privately ran hotel have already been pushed out by DCC, and now find themselves forced living off the couches of friends and family. The remaining families who do not want to leave, deciding to take a stand against the apathy and cruelty shown to them by the Irish state now find themselves under huge strain and uncertainty as their quality of life hangs in the balance.

The reason for the evictions was a decision taken by NAMA, the state owned property fund established by Fianna Fáil in 2009, designed to nationalise the debts of bankrupt bankers and property speculators at the beginning of the financial crisis. NAMA who acquired 63/64 O’Connell St. as part of a portfolio is shutting down Lynam’s hotel which rented the space in order to hand the building over to a new businessman who will have a crack and making himself some profits. Lynams had been receiving payment from DCC to house homeless families. The result of these executive decisions made at the elite level, and a system dedicated to profit before all else will be pushing parents and children from an already sub-par living space, further into uncertainty and impoverishment, and making the 21 staff at the hotel jobless.

At all stages the residents who depend on this process to have a place to live, have been kept ignorant of the decisions concerning their fate, and have been forced to live in small and overheated rooms without access to cooking facilities. One woman with two children with asthma had been living in a small basement room at the hotel outside a bus stop where people smoke.

There are currently almost a thousand families living in emergency accommodation in Dublin, at the same time as the Irish economy has purportedly grown 25%. Homelessness and poverty have been endemic since the crash of 2008, the inevitable bust of a harsh form of financialised highly profitable, highly destructive capitalism. Only a society which puts the needs of the vulnerable before the needs of the elite to turn quick profits is which will survive, and is one which is worth defending.

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