Fingal CC say housing protestors may end up in court

by Sylvia Pownall

Fingal County Council is threatening court action against protesters who have halted building work on 65 social housing units in Blanchardstown.

A group called House The Irish First has picketed the site entrance for seven weeks, and the local authority says “legal action is now required to get building resumed”.

FCC’s housing director, Margaret Geraghty, rejected claims by protesters that allocation methods are unfair – and warned that other projects are now at risk.

She said: “I am alarmed and dismayed at the information that this group is putting out on social media.

“Anything that suggests that the council is not treating its citizens fairly and transparently is simply not correct, and this must be challenged.”

House The Irish First wants social housing allocated on a ’50:50’ basis, with half going to “local Irish people”, and half to “people on the social housing list [for] years”.

Cluid Housing Association is working with the council to deliver 65 new homes at Church Road in Mulhuddart for families, the elderly and individuals with a disability on the council’s housing list.

But delivery trucks are unable to access the site for health and safety reasons, due to the 24/7 presence of protesters outside the entrance.

A Cluid spokesman told Dublin Gazette: “We are deeply concerned about the current situation and disappointed that this protest continues to stop the delivery of new social housing for more than 60 families, single people and the elderly on Fingal County Council’s housing waiting list.”

Margaret Geraghty said the delays in Mulhuddart were having a knock-on effect and holding up progress on other social and affordable housing projects.

Refuting protesters’ claims, she said: “Let me be absolutely clear – these homes have not yet been allocated, and Fingal County Council has long-established policies in relation to allocating housing to those in need of social housing support.

“Households … are allocated a home suitable to their needs in ‘date in need’ order. This means that, over time, a family or individual moves towards the top of the list.

“This is the way homes are allocated in Fingal, and will continue to be allocated in Fingal, and it has proved to be the most fair method of providing housing.”

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