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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# Homelessness
A homeless family will be housed in this shipping container in time for Christmas
The shipping container refurbishment will take place at the end of the month in the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

IRELAND’S FIRST SHIPPING container home is set to be displayed of the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Arts.

This will take place from November 27 to November 30 after which the unit will be donated to Saint Vincent de Paul.

Container 1 How the container looked before

It will then be moved to Cork, where it will hopefully be used to house a family in time for Christmas.

The project has seen the 40 sq. ft container undergo extensive refurbishment and is aimed at raising awareness around the issue of homelessness.

Over the past two years more than 40 professionals and trades people have contributed to the build. Most of these have been members of BNI Ireland – the Irish branch of an international networking organisation.

In anticipation of the refurbishment, volunteers involved have had to overcome a number of obstacles, including the Irish climate and restrictive building regulations.

End result How it looks now


The project has been coordinated by Carol Tallon and and Derek Trenaman of Ceardean Architects. Speaking about the project, Tallon explained how these homes could offer a solution in a difficult-to-access housing market.

“Up to now, Ireland has been left some distance behind the changing global trends for housing, namely the departure from the notion of permanency or lifetime debt which has given rise to a more movable society that needs flexibility in terms of home ownership,” said Tallon.

A low cost model of housing was inevitable after the property market crash, and this container project shows that there are new housing solutions available to accommodate different lifestyle choices for Irish people.

Broader solution

In September, a proposal for use of the shipping containers was put forward by Dáithi Downey, the head of policy and service delivery at Dublin City Council’s Dublin Region Homeless Executive, at a meeting on homelessness organised by IMPACT trade union.

The proposal centered on the container’s ability to provide low cost, modern, modular housing.

1618079843_d6c52557e9_z (1) How the shipping containers look in the Netherlands

Projects involving the conversion of shipping containers into housing units have previously been carried out successfully in the Netherlands – with the purpose of housing students.

Read: Possible solutions for homelessness – and the ones that got it wrong

Also: Joan Burton heckled at trade union meeting on homelessness

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