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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019
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'Government policy is failing': Thousands gather in Dublin to protest against housing crisis

Figures show that more than 10,000 people are currently registered as homeless in Ireland.

Crowds on Parnell Square this afternoon
Crowds on Parnell Square this afternoon
Image: Cormac Fitzgerald

THOUSANDS OF DEMONSTRATORS have gathered in Dublin city centre for a protest this afternoon.

The Raise the Roof rally assembled at Parnell Square at 1pm, and continued along the south and north quays before stopping at O’Connell Street.

The demonstration was organised as a protest against the housing crisis and homelessness.

Latest figures from the Department of Housing show there were 10,305 people registered as homeless in Ireland in March, including 3,821 children.

A number of speakers from unions and political parties addressed crowds at the GPO, including homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry.

There was also performances from Damien Dempsey and Senator Frances Black.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie the march, Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy was “under pressure” to deal with the housing crisis.

“This campaign is in its early days…Raise the Roof is becoming an extremely important social movement across the state,” he said.

“It has a very clear message: the government’s policy is failing. I think Eoghan Murphy is beginning to feel the heat, and what people today should take from that is that the next event has to be bigger.”

Activist and playwright Emmet Kirwan said people were frustrated and angry at the government for letting down Irish citizens who had been caught up in the crisis.

“What people here want is quite disparate, but we’ve coalesced around a few things,” he told TheJournal.ie.

“We want public housing built by local authorities, strong renting laws, and stopping cuckoo funds and vulture funds from picking over the carcass of austerity policies and the downturn we experienced ten years ago.”

With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald.

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