High-profile artists to join homelessness protest outside Leinster House

Glen Hansard, Frances Black and Emmet Kirwan will be joining the ‘Songs and Words’ protest

Homeless, Dublin City Council, safe homes, Uplift, Daithi Doolan,

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

A host of well-known musicians, artists and activists are joining a public protest outside the Dáil to highlight the homelessness crisis.

Glen Hansard, Frances Black and Emmet Kirwan are just some of the names involved in the ‘creative peaceful protest’ organised by Dublin charity, Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH).

Organisers are calling on the public to join the ‘Songs and Words’ protest which will include live music, speakers and poetry.

The event is part of the ICHH #MyNameIs campaign – and aims to raise awareness of the depth of the homelessness and housing crisis currently facing the country.

Give them Shelter

It will be the charity’s second protest outside the gates of Leinster House within a week, after activists laid sleeping bags along the Kildare St pathway to highlight the number of rough sleepers every night in Dublin.

The campaigners have warned that there are an average of 150-200 people sleeping rough every night in the city – and are urging the government to immediately bring online 200 promised Cold Winter Initiative beds in an effort to avoid further deaths on the streets.

The latest official count by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) has reported a total of 184 people were sleeping rough across the Dublin region on the night of November 7th.

The latest figures from the Department of Housing meanwhile, found a record 8,492 people were accessing homeless emergency accommodation in October.

The figures include 3,194 children and 1,463 families.

It means the number of homeless children has increased by 29% since October of last year.

Protesters holding sleeping bags outside Leinster House in Dublin today, 05-12-2017. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

In a statement, the campaign said: “We really need the public to make a massive effort to get to this peaceful family friendly event [...] that is raising awareness about the homelessness and housing crisis currently facing this country.”

“Come along and be part of the growing movement that says the homelessness crisis is not normal or acceptable by Irish society.

Activist and Maynooth University sociologist Dr Rory Hearne said: "Alongside the unacceptable disgrace of growing homelessness, there are hundreds of thousands of families, individuals, students, workers, elderly and disabled suffering from the housing crisis.”

“Whether it is unaffordable rents, the fear and threat of eviction, overcrowding [or] substandard housing.

“The housing crisis threatens the economy.  It now affects us all.”

The event begins at 12 noon on Tuesday the 12th of December at the gates of Leinster House.