Thursday, December 22, 2016

Homeless activists take over disused office building in Sligo town

Activists in Sligo town have occupied an empty office building there.

The building, which is believed to be owned by Nama, has been taken over by homeless activists in a similar way to the occupation of Apollo House in Dublin by Home Sweet Home activists recently.

A local source has described the occupation as "along the same lines" as Apollo House, saying: "It’s just an old, disused Nama building, although the people involved could leave or they could stay, it’s hard to tell."

The building's location is being kept secret for the time being, but there is said to be fewer than 10 homeless people present in the disused offices which have no water or electricity.

However, the occupants do have mattresses and food and the conditions have been described as warm.

It is being reported by the that the owners of the building have not taken any action yet to take it back from the occupiers. have contacted the Gardaí and are awaiting confirmation from them about the occupation.

The Peter McVerry Trust says there needs to be a focus on long-term solutions for homelessness. 

Staff from the homeless charity will visit Apollo House in Dublin today where occupants have until January 11 to vacate the building.

The Trust is opening up a further 25 beds in Ellis Quay tonight, where 70 people will be able to stay over Christmas, and into the summer.

CEO Pat Doyle says the Home Sweet Home campaign is doing a great job at highlighting the issue, but he fears for the residents of Apollo House.

Mr Doyle said: "I know our population of homeless people, I've worked with them all my life and we've worked with around 4,500 of them this year. Some people who are homeless just need a house, but some people have other issues, complex issues, and so obviously I would have concerns for their well-being. That's not to put any judgement on those who are running Apollo House."

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