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Pictures: Thousands turn out in Dublin for May Day protest calling for action on housing crisis

The march has been held to call on the government to address the ongoing homeless crisis.

MAY DAY MARCH 758A9128_90510222 Source: Eamonn Farrell

A GIANT MAY Day march held in central Dublin this afternoon put Ireland’s homeless crisis firmly in the spotlight.

Thousands gathered from 2pm for a march that began at the Garden of Remembrance off O’Connell Street.

May Day is traditionally seen as international workers day, with solidarity protests held across the globe.

MAY DAY  758A9044_90510217 Fr Peter McVerry Source: Eamonn Farrell

MAY DAY  758A9146_90510226 Source: Eamonn Farrell

MAY DAY 758A9100_90510233 Source: Eamonn Farrell

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry used the occasion to call for ‘an effective public home building programme’ at a rally held at Liberty Hall following the march with the firm message that ‘housing is a right, not a privilege’.

Speaking at the rally, McVerry said that the government’s housing strategy is clearly not working as homelessness is increasing, and that it is time for “more radical measures”.

He called for evictions of people by banks to stop unless those people have secured alternative accommodation.

Siptu had billed the march as serving to “highlight the opposition of trade unions and housing activists to a Government plan to sell off local authority land to private developers”.

MAY DAY758A9022_90510231 Source: Eamonn Farrell

MAY DAY 758A9111_90510223 Source: Eamonn Farrell

MAY DAY 758A9152_90510232 Source: Eamonn Farrell

“Our view at the Dublin Council of Trade Unions (DCTU) was that it was very important do something on housing, so this march represents a broad coalition of all interested charities, and we were really delighted to host it,” Pat Bolger, president of DCTU, told TheJournal.ie.

We’re calling for a programme of public housing to ease the current crisis. The government ministers’ reliance on the private sector is just unrealistic at this stage.
We don’t think that people want to hurt the homeless, but it’s an inevitable consequence of the policies currently being pursued.

“We intend to keep campaigning,” Bolger added. “We’re committed to this coalition.”

Read: ‘It’s so hard to take in’: Woman (20s) dies in fire at home of club rugby players

Read: “The sooner the better” – Fine Gael’s Alan Farrell wants to know when Enda will be calling time

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