Protestors block building site for modular homes
a GROUP of protestors blocked work on the site of the capital's first modular homes for homeless families.
Contractors were stopped at the entrance to the site in Poppintree in Ballymun yesterday.
Around a dozen people gathered to protest the fact that they have yet to be refunded a €5,000 fee that they invested in a co-op scheme that was due to be built on the land more than a decade ago.
Though the homes were never built, the O Cualann Co-Housing Alliance is now pushing the project forward.
Since plans emerged to build modular homes on the site, the alliance has been negotiating with the council to build houses elsewhere on the land.
Hugh Brennan, a spokesperson for the alliance, said that work was underway to ensure that anyone who had invested would get a refund if that is what they wanted. "I can understand the protestors, but we're not supporting them," he told the Herald.
"We have a method in place for them to get their refunds and they are concerned about that aspect. We have an agreement with the council to build 50 houses," he said.
Work will begin on a formal agreement to allow the alliance to seek planning permission on a different part of the site.
Mr Brennan said that, understandably, some of the demonstrators have lost faith in the council during the process.
Protestor Deirdre Taylor said that it was unacceptable to begin work when the deposits had not been guaranteed.
"The people feel let down by what has happened, deposits of €5,000 have been put down but there's no guarantee the money will be returned," she said.
"We're not against modular housing, we're not against homeless people being housed - the opposite actually - but people are being left short with no information.
"We've been waiting a long time and now this happens. One woman who originally put down a deposit has since died, it's not acceptable."
Last night, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Criona Ni Dhalaigh, called for the demonstration to be called off.