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Monday, 9th April 2018

Louth SF councillors take part in national housing protest

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The Sinn Féin contingent at the National Homeless and Housing Coalition's (NHHC) mass housing protest in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

Louth Councillors Joanna Byrne and Ruairí Ó Murchú joined a large Sinn Féin contingent in Dublin on Saturday afternoon to support the National Homeless and Housing Coalition's (NHHC) mass housing protest.

The NHHC’s national day of action was supported by organisations such as Focus Ireland, the Peter McVerry Trust, the Simon Communities, along with a number of activist and trade union groups, actors, musicians and other political parties.

Saturday's protest saw people come out in their thousands to demonstrate against record homelessness figures and the fact that our country is facing a national housing emergency.

Speaking after the protest Cllr Joanna Byrne, who is Chairperson of Louth County Council's Housing Strategic Policy Committee, said:

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"A mobilisation of this size has to send a clear message to the government to make housing a right, not a privilege. The latest figures show that there are nearly 10,000 people in this country that are homeless, including 3,755 children.

“Month by month these figures are rising, it has gone beyond frightening at this stage and these people are the reason we are here today, these are the people we are standing in solidarity with today.

“This needs to be recognised as a national emergency and dealt with accordingly. The government need to increase investment in homelessness prevention and tenancy sustainment and provide more protection for tenants at risk of homelessness to even try and get a handle on this crisis."

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, Sinn Féin's General Election candidate for Louth stated that “until there is a change in government policy this crisis will continue to get worse.

“The government's over-reliance on the private rental sector to meet social housing needs, combined with rising rents and no rent certainty has played a major part in this crisis, this needs to change.

“Focus needs to be on building social and affordable homes, mixed-tenure public housing estates on public lands, funded by central government and built by local authorities."

Joanna Byrne and Ruairí Ó Murchú joined Uachtarán Shinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald, along with the party’s spokesperson on Housing Eoin O'Broin behind the banner leading the Sinn Féin section of the protest.

Louth Sinn Féin Councillors Joanna Byrne and Ruairí Ó Murchú at the NHHC’s national day of action on Saturday. 

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