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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Former residents occupy homeless hostel in protest over its closure

Gardaí are currently inside the hostel speaking with the protesters – who say that they plan to occupy the building overnight.

GARDAÍ ARE PRESENT at a homeless hostel in Dublin’s city centre where a number of former long-term residents and activists are protesting against its imminent closure.

Bru Aimsir hostel on Thomas Street is set to close its doors in the coming weeks.

The accommodation, which houses 100 beds, was opened in November of last year as part of the council’s cold weather initiative.

It is understood that 50 of the beds in the hostel have now been closed, and eight long-time residents of the hostel have now occupied it in protest.

Gardaí are currently inside the hostel speaking with the protesters – who say that they plan to occupy the building overnight.

A spokesperson for the gardaí confirmed that they were maintaining a presence at the scene.

One of the protesters, who gave her name as Carrie, told TheJournal.ie that she had been placed in another hostel but that the “conditions are a disgrace” there.

Staff at the hostel have told the protesters, who are being supported by activists from the Irish Housing Network, that there is no place for them in the building tonight.

There are about eight activists present inside the hostel with the former residents, as well as around 20 outside the building.

Alternative accommodation

Carrie told TheJournal.ie that the situation was calm but that gardaí had told them that there was “nothing they can do for us”.

“The staff here are really good – we have no problem with them,” said Carrie.

It’s normally a really good hostel – the staff here are great.

One activist said that gardaí had suggested that the protesters could go for the night to the nearby Night Café. The Night Café is a service operated by Merchant’s Quay Ireland where homeless people can spend the night – however, there are no bed places at the facility.

A protest of the closure of the Bru Aimsir hostel is taking place tomorrow morning at 10am. Protesters will walk from the hostel on Thomas Street to the Dublin City Council offices on Fishamble Street.

- With reporting from Daragh Brophy

Read: Emergency hostel set to close with loss of 100 beds for the homeless

Read: Dublin hotel tells homeless family not to use front door

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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