herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

'I offered to put up Apollo House eviction victims' - Sheridan

Film director Jim Sheridan
Film director Jim Sheridan

Irish film director Jim Sheridan has insisted the Home Sweet Home movement achieved something despite homelessness figures continuing to spiral.

Recent statistics show a record number of people are now homeless, with more than 7,000 on the streets.

Sheridan said he had no regrets about getting involved with the occupation of Apollo House. He also told how he even offered to put up homeless people in his own house after an eviction order was passed by the High Court.

"I offered that when the judge threw us out," he said.

"I said: 'I can put some of them up in my place' but Brendan Ogle said that would be a farce, that that wasn't the issue, that it was how do we force authorities to take the responsibility for the homeless crisis."

Sheridan, who grew up on Sheriff Street in Dublin, said he didn't feel he or the other campaigners were naive in getting involved in the HSH movement.

Scary

He is filmed for the Inside Apollo House documentary saying: "It was scary, the first few days particularly... the fear came from me, that I don't want to be held responsible if people are dying, so I thought the best way to deal with that was to go in with a camera to show we were as responsible as we could possibly be."

The documentary tells the story of how activists took over the Nama-controlled office block and transformed it into a shelter for the homeless.

"The homeless figures went up last month but we did achieve things," Sheridan said.

"We got beds, accommodation for couples, 90 people looked after.

"We got new places opened but, you know what, we raised awareness and now we really have to do something about the homeless.

"But we definitely did achieve some practical things and put homelessness on the map and that's what we intended to do."

Inside Apollo House airs on TV3 tonight at 10pm

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