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Dublin: 3 °C Friday 3 April, 2020

A €4.7 million plan to turn these flats into accommodation for homeless people will not go ahead

Councillors told Dublin City CEO Owen Keegan not to press on with the plan this evening.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE MEMBERS OF Dublin City Council have voted against a €4.72 million plan to house homeless families in O’Devaney Gardens.

Just 14 of the units at the north inner-city flat complex are occupied and Dublin City CEO Owen Keegan had suggested spending the money to transform it into temporary homeless accommodation.

That plan was overwhelmingly rejected by councillors this evening, with a motion drafted by Lord Mayor Christy Burke directing Keegan not to press on with the plan.

In total, 22 councillors spoke on the motion, with the majority opposing the plan. However, independent councillor Mannix Flynn said that councillors had doomed more families to homelessness, saying that the plan was a solution, if a short-term one.

“This is a humanitarian issue. We spent €2 million taking chewing gum off the ground, how many houses could we buy for that? There are two blocks lying idle that can be used to get people out of hotels. If we reject this, we might as well get out of the homelessness business.”

However, councillors raised issues with the transitory nature of the people staying at the homes, the value for money and the fact that the solution was short term.

The vote was due to be delayed, but was put back on the agenda on foot of legal advice.

Read: Lord Mayor: No vote tonight on plan to house homeless in ‘Love/Hate’ flats

Read: ‘Plans to house homeless in O’Devaney Gardens won’t go down well with residents’

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