Unite Regional Secretary blasts NAMA receivers for ‘No Room at the Inn’ attitude
Forcing homeless back onto streets in the heart of winter will result in more deaths amidst government inaction
December 20th: Speaking ahead of the court case [tomorrow, Wednesday December 21st] where NAMA’s receivers are to seek to evict homeless people from Apollo House, Jimmy Kelly, Ireland Secretary of Unite said:
“One hundred years after the heroic acts that established our state and heralded the hope of an Ireland that would cherish all the children equally, we have the appalling vista of NAMA receivers forcing homeless onto the streets in the days before Christmas. Or given the season: no room at the inn.
“This is the first time since the Great Famine that entire families are now homeless on our streets. In a fashion reminiscent of the absentee landlords of that time, the NAMA receivers are seeking to force homeless people back onto the streets to face cruel winter conditions; from an empty building bought and paid for by the Irish people. There can be no justification for such heartless inhumanity.
“The numbers of homeless on our streets have surged due to the failure of successive governments to build enough social housing but our political leaders continue to stand idly-by and wash their hands of this callous act.
“Unite is proud to stand alongside those principled activists, including many from our union, who have banded together to provide shelter and relief for the homeless of Dublin. Our members have volunteered their labour to provide rudimentary services and basic amenities in the building.
“This shining act of compassion has been lauded across the world. The Irish public also strongly support this initiative and the Home Sweet Home campaign has raised tens of thousands in a matter of days through online fund-raising. Even members of An Garda Síochána have commended those involved for their efforts. It seems the only ones who begrudge shelter to the homeless are those paid to manage the state’s NAMA property portfolio.
“Over these winter months, what better return on these state-owned properties could we expect than to provide shelter to the hundreds of homeless on the streets of Dublin; to avoid unnecessary suffering and possibly save lives. Unite will always stand with the homeless against corporate greed”, Mr Kelly concluded.