Europe

Apollo House: Irish stars join homeless shelter protest

Irish singer songwriter Hozier
Image caption Irish singer songwriter Hozier is among those involved

Irish celebrities have lent support to a campaign against homelessness after activists took over an ex-government building and turned it into a shelter.

Well-known Irish musicians, including Oscar-winner Glen Hansard, Dublin band Kodaline and Hozier, led campaigners in song outside the Dublin building.

Apollo House, a former government office block, is empty but there are plans to demolish and redevelop it.

Receivers are now taking legal action to end the '"illegal occupation".

They went to the High Court in Dublin on Tuesday to seek injunctions against the campaigners which could force them to leave the building.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Apollo House, a former government office block, is empty but there are plans to demolish and redevelop it

Their barrister told the court there were serious health and safety concerns as the building was not suitable for residential use and currently has no fire insurance cover.

The campaign group, Home Sweet Home, includes representatives on the Irish housing network and trade unions.

It is supported by Oscar-winning songwriter Hansard and Oscar-nominated film director Jim Sheridan.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the building on Tuesday afternoon as Hansard led supporters in an Irish rendition of the American song This Land is Our Land.

Earlier, the High Court was told the receivers were very sensitive to the plight of the homeless, Irish national broadcaster RTÉ reported.

Their barrister said there were enough facilities available for the number of homeless people in Dublin at the moment, according to Dublin City Council.