‘Raise the Roof’ organisers expect thousands to protest the housing crisis in Cork city today.
The rally and march are to begin at 12.30pm today from SIPTU’s Connolly Hall.
Organisers are calling on the Government to take urgent action to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis.
SIPTU spokesperson Adrian Kane said today’s rally should send a clear message to the Government.
“The last two actions that this Government has taken - one lifting the eviction ban and the other waiving fees for developers - what it says to me is that this is a Government that is not listening,” he said.
“There's a lot of anger out there, and it behoves us, running this campaign, of turning that anger into a positive response.”
Housing Policy Analyst Dr Lorcan Sirr said the current housing system is contradictory and dysfunctional.
“Last time we had to deal with serious recessions, we've had people with lots of houses and no jobs and they've had to emigrate,” he said.
“This time around, what we find is people are very well-educated, people have lots of [paid] jobs, but now they must emigrate.
“There's something dysfunctional and wrong about that kind of scenario in this country - a developed country, a first world country, a wealthy country like ours.
“There’s no need for it to be ongoing, it’s unacceptable in a country like Ireland that we have over 12,500 people living in emergency accommodation, about one third of whom are children.”
Folk singer Karen Kane is due to perform at the rally, representing artists who struggle to find a home in Ireland.
“It's a direct result of government policies, particularly for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael of not building public housing from the late 80s and early 90s,” she said.
“It has also had terrible effect on artists who are trying to rent, and it’s next to near impossible for an artist to get a mortgage.”
In November 2022, 20,000 took part in a Raise the Roof rally in Dublin, including actor Liam Cunningham.