“There’s a bigger issue of homelessness, of people being thrown out of their houses,” film director Jim Sheridan said outside courtroom three, on one of the many recesses, yesterday.
“We’re just trying to say the system is unfair and the homeless are the most visible aspect of that,” he said.
Yesterday, marked six days since Home Sweet Home, a group made up of the Irish Housing Network and several trade unionists, took over a disused office block in Dublin city.
Meanwhile, out on the city’s quays, hundreds more had gathered singing ‘This Land is our Land,’ and holding placards saying: “Enda this is what you’ll be remembered for”.
Taxis, trucks and buses all beeped their support while activists from Home Sweet Home walked through the crowd with a sheet of paper looking for volunteers. The sheet had three listings on it: Name, skills and contact details.
One protester, Michelle Considine, said she was there because “actions need to be taken”.
“About 70 families on average a month are losing their homes. The Government seems not to be working with the banks to save people from their mortgage arrears,” she told the. Further down the crowd was People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett, who said Apollo House was “not the solution to the homelessness crisis but it points to the solution”.
“It shows that the State has the resources, has the buildings, has the houses that could resolve the housing crisis and they’re really putting it up to the Government to say: ‘Why are you not using these resources to deal with the worst housing crisis in the history of the State?’” he said.
Back inside, the court, there were whisperings about the “for sale” sign outside Apollo House and what might happen to it over Christmas, while activists waited for the judge’s decision. At 4pm, the decision came and the activists tearfully walked back to Apollo House, hand in hand.
€15,000 has been donated to a woman battling home repossession due to mortgage arrears. She spoke about her plight last Monday on theprogramme.
“What amazes me is people’s generosity,” said the woman at the centre of the report yesterday.