herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Angry residents march on council over Mountjoy row

Mark Richardson and his daughter Molly (8) who are facing eviction during a protest in solidarity over the proposed eviction of 13 families (Collins)
Mark Richardson and his daughter Molly (8) who are facing eviction during a protest in solidarity over the proposed eviction of 13 families (Collins)

Residents who were due to leave emergency accommodation last week and staged a sit-in at Dublin council offices yesterday are hoping the council offer them acceptable alternative accommodation.

Thirteen households were given seven days' notice by Dublin City Council (DCC) to relocate from their homes on Mountjoy Street after a contract agreement between the private owner of the two neighbouring buildings and the council ended last Friday.

But a group of families have said they are refusing to leave. Yesterday they marched to the council offices and staged a sit-in. Representatives for the families said after several unsuccessful attempts to contact DCC, they took matters "into their own hands".

They, alongside their supporters, marched from the building on Mountjoy Street to the offices on Wood Quay yesterday, at around 2.30pm.

Offer

Following a meeting with officials, the residents were hopeful the council would today put forward an offer for suitable accommodation.

The residents are expecting an offer this morning.

The families said the initial alternative accommodation choices offered to them were of a lower quality or size, or did not meet their needs.

They were demanding that stable accommodation is made available to them.

Aisling Kenny (32), one of those refusing to leave the accommodation, told the Herald the families had been hoping for a breakthrough.

Concerns

"It's very stressful, we would be scared to leave for too long in case something happens," Ms Kenny, who lived in the Mountjoy Street property with her partner and three children, said.

She said families had been offered accommodation in hotels, but there were concerns about security. "In some places that other families have seen, some of the rooms were on the third floor but there were no locks on the windows," she said.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) say they met with the families last week and there have been repeated visits from Dublin City Council Homeless Services staff, coupled with facilitation and accompaniment to viewings of alternative emergency accommodation over the past two weeks.

"We have put a number of emergency accommodation offers in place for families and will continue to do this. A number of families have been accommodated in alternative accommodation," it said.

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