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Show-home in Dublin being occupied by protesters because of “heartbreaking” homeless crisis

The action is being supported by the Anti-Austerity Alliance.

The occupation began this afternoon.
The occupation began this afternoon.
Image: Facebook/Michael O'Brien

THE ANTI-AUSTERITY Alliance is leading another occupation of a show-home in protest at what it says is Nama’s inaction in providing social housing and the involvement of a ‘Maple 10′ developer.

The action is being taken in the Beltree estate in Clongriffin in north Dublin with a dozen protesters occupying the property.

The party says that those taking part in the protest are from the area and have been affected by the homelessness crisis.

The AAA’s Cllr Michael O’Brien says they entered the property and told the estate agents there that they were occupying the property and explained their reasons for doing so.

O’Brien says there was a polite conversation between themselves and the estate agents who then left along with the members of the public who were viewing the house.

The councillor adds that the gates to the property have now been locked by the owners with the electricity to the property also now cut off.

Asked how long they plan to stay in the property, O’Brien says that they will “hold it for a number of hours” before discussing their next move.

The property is operated by Gannon Homes which is owned by prominent property developer Gerry Gannon.

Gannon was part of the so-called ‘Maple 10′ transaction who were allegedly given hundreds of millions by Anglo Irish Bank to re-invest in the bank as its share price plummeted.

Gannon is in Nama and O’Brien objects to the sale of the Beltree properties when there are ”130,000 languishing on the waiting lists”.

“Today’s action, and others like it are absolutely essential to highlight the unforgivable decisions or rather lack of decisions this government is making when it comes to responding to the accommodation crisis,” the general election candidate said this afternoon.

gannon The AAA says Nama should be doing more for social housing. Source: Facebook/Michael O'Brien

O’Brien says that about a dozen people are involved in today’s action and more were expected to join later but may not be able to do so because the gates are now locked.

One of the other people involved is mother-of-two Rachel Kenny who says she is in fear of becoming homeless.

“My rent last year went from €950 to €1300 leaving me having to get a top up on my rent supplement via Threshold,” she said according to the AAA.

“I absolutely dread the possibility of a further hike next month when the lease is up for renewal and like thousands of others in my position the fear of becoming homeless really bears down on me.”

Another protester from Coolock named Erica Fleming says she’s been homeless since July and the situation is “heartbreaking”

Today’s action is similar to another taken by the AAA in a different part of the city three weeks ago when a number of homeless families occupied a house in Blanchardstown.  

In that case, the activists were brought to court by the developers of the estate and the protesters led by Ruth Coppinger TD agreed to leave the property.

Asked if he expected that this latest protest would come to that O’Brien said, “I honestly don’t know, the ball is in their court but we will use this as a platform to communicate our ideas.”

Read: Homeless families occupy show house in west Dublin >

Read: In a south Dublin park, three men and a dog bed down for the night >

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Rónán Duffy

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