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'Shame on Leo': Thousands march through Dublin and Cork against homelessness

Protesters called on the government to do more to tackle homelessness.

Updated Dec 5th 2019, 10:05 PM

protest 112 Protesters march through Dublin city in a housing protest against homelessness from Parnell Square to the Dáil. Source: Sam Boal

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE gathered in Dublin today to protest against homelessness and demand greater government action on the issue. 

A crowd gathered at the Garden of Remembrance before moving through the city towards Leinster House. The crowd moved down O’Connell Street, onto Custom House Quay, and Merrion Square.

Hundreds then gathered on Grafton Street after lunchtime today, holding handmade signs and plastic banners with various slogans on them. 

A large crowd also gathered outside the Disney store, which had lodged planning permission to erect gates outside its store where homeless people often sleep.

Among the chants were “What do we want? … Public housing!” and 

protest 172 Source: Sam Boal

People Before Profit-Solidarity TD Bríd Smith called it the “best march since water charges” on Twitter

The protest in Dublin coincided with another anti-homelessness demonstration in Cork city today. One sign at that march bore the slogan “All We Want For Christmas Is A Home”.

Some people carried signs saying “End Homelessness Now”, while one person held a sign that called for “more homes, less printers” – a reference to the controversy over the procurement of an €800,000 printer for the Oireachtas. 

Other people held signs saying “we are marching for the forgotten homeless”. As they marched, some protesters chanted: “Shame on Leo,” and “Leo Leo Leo, out out out“. 

3587 Housing protests Hundreds of people marched in Dublin against homelessness today. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Ahead of the Christmas season, charities have been highlighting the numbers of adults and children homeless in Ireland. 

This week, the Dáil voted narrowly against a motion of no confidence in housing minister Eoghan Murphy.

The Department of Housing also released homeless figures for October, indicating that there were 10,514 individuals homeless – an increase of 117 on September’s figures

Some bus services were disrupted by the march, and there were also delays to the Luas on both the red and the green lines due to the protest. 

- with reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

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