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Homeless campaigners at Apollo House plead for medical supplies

Homeless campaigners who occupied an empty office block in Dublin to shelter rough sleepers have appealed for medical supplies.

Apollo House is being redeveloped after loans relating to the property were taken over by Nama.

Singer songwriter Glen Hansard is supporting the protest and said they were involved in an act of civil disobedience. He said they had beds and a lot of volunteers.

Organisers Home Sweet Home said: "One thing we need especially are medical supplies including equipment like difibrillators."

The Irish Housing Network which is also supporting the action said its members were "blown away" by the level of public support.

Its statement said: "The action was taken as a response to the deaths on our streets. The action was taken to ensure dignity for people left vulnerable and unsupported by government.

"The Irish Housing Network believes that this crisis is not about resources but about lack of political will to put the needs of the people above private interest."

Campaigners have urged the Government to give tenants stronger rights amid concern that a slight fall in homeless numbers is only a blip.

Official figures show 1,023 families were in homeless accommodation in greater Dublin at the end of November - three fewer than the previous month.

The report by Housing Minister Simon Coveney's office also found 1,368 mothers or fathers with 2,110 children had no home.

Some 780 families with 1,608 children were forced to shelter in hotels.

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