Apollo House: Call for Nama buildings to open to homeless

Activists at Apollo House Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption The group say about 40 homeless people are staying in the building

The group behind the occupation of Apollo House in Dublin has called for the Irish minister for finance to instruct Nama to open up its buildings to the homeless.

Apollo House is a government building and there are plans to demolish it.

Activists from the group, Home Sweet Home, occupied the building on 15 December and have been ordered to vacate it by noon on 11 January.

Several hundred marched to the Department of Finance on Monday.

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Dublin City Council says there are enough facilities available for the homeless at present

They handed over a letter to Michael Noonan.

In a statement, the department said it had received a 10-page document from Home Sweet Home.

It said the content of the document will be considered and a response issued "in due course".

The department also said that Nama has been active with regard to homelessness, offering almost 7,000 units to local authorities for social housing.

Image caption Irish singer songwriter Hozier is among those involved

The activists said about 40 homeless people were staying in the building and they have gathered the support of Irish celebrities, such as members of the bands Hozier and Kodaline.

During a High Court hearing in December, barristers for the receivers said there were serious health and safety concerns as the building was not suitable for residential use and currently has no fire insurance cover.

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

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