Belfast Telegraph

Dublin Apollo House homeless campaigners 'very happy' with visit from receivers

By Gavin White

The receivers of Apollo House, Mazars, visited the building yesterday for the first time.

The Peter McVerry Trust also visited the residents on behalf of Dublin City Council to give them a one-to-one assessment.

Brendan Ogle, co-founder of the Home Sweet Home group, which campaigns to tackle homelessness, said "there were great developments" after the visit of Mazars.

Home Sweet Home had been occupying the building, and wants vacant properties to be used as emergency accommodation for the homeless.

"The receivers and their whole team looked at the building in terms of insurance, in terms of fire and in terms of their expectations in relation to their property rights," Mr Ogle said.

"I don't want to put words into their mouths, but we are very happy with how that meeting went. We think they are pleasantly surprised from what they've seen."

Mr Ogle said they haven't thought past Christmas and therefore do not know what will happen with the January 11 eviction date ordered by the court on Wednesday.

"The receivers are working with the various parties involved to ensure an orderly resolution as envisaged by the court," a spokesperson for Mazars said.

Meanwhile, Peter McVerry said there were not enough beds at the Merchant's Quay facility for the homeless.

"Suitable accommodation is not a bed rolled out on a floor surrounded by 20 other people," volunteer Justin Casey, who has worked in Apollo House every night since its opening, said.

"We feel that Apollo House is totally unsuitable for residential accommodation," Dublin City Council deputy chief executive Brendan Kenny said.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One yesterday, Mr Kenny said: "We don't agree they [the residents] feel safe there.

"We'd like to talk to them on an individual basis and we'd like to show them the quality accommodation that has been provided only in the last few weeks in Dublin city."

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: "There are sufficient bed places to address the needs of rough sleepers."

Irish Independent

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