Home Sweet Home to ask High Court to extend occupation of Apollo House

A judge has ordered the occupiers to leave the Dublin city centre building by midday today

Home Sweet Home to ask High Court to extend occupation of Apollo House

Image: Sean Defoe

Home Sweet Home will go to the High Court today looking to extend the occupation of Apollo House in Dublin.

It comes after the group said Housing Minister Simon Coveney was undermining a deal they struck with him.

The occupiers of the Dublin city centre have to legally leave by midday today, after a High Court ruling before Christmas.

They will apply for a stay in the court later to extend that, to allow them to follow through on a deal with Housing Minister Simon Coveney.

The agreement would see all the homeless people in the facility re-homed.

Ahead of the court earing, some of the Apollo House residents have been packing up and leaving - but many want to stay.

However, eight residents who had already left have come back to Apollo House - saying the conditions elsewhere are well below standards in the occupied building.

One man said he was put in a five-bed dorm with three active heroin users.

Crowds have gathered outside the building, complete with banners and chants.

Image: Sean Defoe

Home Sweet Home have also accused Minister Coveney of undermining the deal they struck by playing down the group's achievements.

He indicated yesterday that an agreement to open two new homeless hostels in Dublin was made 'well in advance' of his meeting with Home Sweet Home campaigners last week.

All eyes will later turn to the High Court, to see if the residents will be allowed to stay beyond noon today.

In a statement, Home Sweet Home said: "Despite great efforts by the Home Sweet Home collective, and despite assurances given by Minister Coveney at recent negotiations, it has not been possible to secure adequate alternative accommodation catering for the short and long term needs of the residents of Apollo House.

"It is imperative therefore to seek an extension to the stay until safe and adequate alternative accommodation is secured for the residents of Apollo House."