'Raise The Roof' Rally Protesting Housing Crisis Takes Place In Dublin

The rally was organised in response to the escalating housing crisis, a growth in the number of people forced into homelessness and untenable issues within the private rental market.

Hundreds of people fill the street outside Leinster House holding up banners in protest of the housing crisis

Protesters and campaign groups including students’ unions, trade unions and political parties gathered outside Leinster House today to take a stand against the escalating housing crisis.

The Raise The Roof rally was timed to coincide with a motion on housing raised by opposition parties due to be debated in the Dáil. The ever increasing numbers of people and families forced into homelessness and overcrowding by a lack of social housing and unchecked soaring rents has long been untenable. The Government’s apparent failure to tackle the problem led to an estimate of around seven thousand people filling the streets in protest.

A recent Sinn Féin motion of No-Confidence against Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy proved unsuccessful, when, amongst other things, Fianna Fail abstained from taking part. The crowds gathered today and the obvious evidence available show that Government action on the issue is sorely lacking.

Hugh Lane

TD Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit summed the situation up perfectly when he posted that the rally was “a cry for a generation of young people, homeless families and kids, renters paying obscene rents in insecure tenancies, workers who can’t afford a home, those in mortgage distress. Demand secure, affordable homes for all.”

Dublin Bay North TD Tommy Broughan recently said: “The housing crisis has now permeated all aspects of life in Ireland from limiting students from attending third level, pushing generations of families into severe overcrowding accommodation situations, forcing families with children to sleep in cars and people to sleep in tents and with 60 percent of homeless families headed by a lone parent, usually a mother, it is a gendered issue.”

He continued: “Ireland has double the rate of homeless females than other European countries and with 43,000 mortgages in arrears of more than two years. Fr Peter McVerry predicts that the crisis will continue to worsen unless something is done, unless real action is taken, unless evictions are prevented and the continuous flow into homelessness and hidden homelessness is stopped. Many of us have been calling on the Government to declare a housing emergency for many years now.”

The ongoing event is due to feature keynote speeches featuring amongst others Sheila Nunan of ICTU, Síona Cahill of USI, Orla O’Connor of NWCI, Peter McVerry, Keith Troy of Homeless & Housing Coalition and Aisling Hederman.

This is a movement that can’t be ignored by people tired of being ignored.

GCN will keep up to date as the story develops.

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