Work begins to tear down Apollo House

by Emma Nolan

The demolition of Apollo House started this week, almost a year on from the Home Sweet Home occupation.

Some of our own coverage of events at Apollo House last year, when the eyes of the country were trained on the landmark. One year on, however, and the national homelessness crisis is even worse …

The building is being redeveloped by Nama-appointed receivers to developer Garrett Kelleher’s Cuprum Properties Ltd, while the Office of Public Works is responsible for the replacement of Hawkins House.
The occupation of Apollo House caused a media frenzy last year, as a group of activists including some well-known musicians, such as Glen Hansard and Damien Dempsey, took over the building to provide shelter for some of Dublin’s homeless.
They were met with praise and criticism alike at the time, with homeless charities Focus Ireland and The Peter McVerry Trust labelling the move as “not the solution” to the housing crisis, but the campaigners still received multiple donations in food, money, mattresses and other supplies from supporters.

Apollo House

A year on, however, and the homelessness crisis is worse than ever, as 89 families became newly homeless in Dublin in September alone, according to Focus Ireland.
The most recent figures show there are now 1,455 families and 3,124 children homeless nationwide in Ireland – meaning more than one in three people experiencing homelessness is a child.
Some 806 young people aged between 18 and 24 are also homeless, according to Focus Ireland.

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