‘A decent place to live is the foundation for everything’: Housing activists hold rally outside City Hall

Organised by the Cork branch of the National Homeless and Housing Coalition (NHHC), the rally was held ahead of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Cork City Council where the new Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde was elected.
‘A decent place to live is the foundation for everything’: Housing activists hold rally outside City Hall

Cork branch of National Homeless & Housing Coalition (NHHC) protest, at City Hall, Cork.

Housing activists in Cork city donned their jackets and brought their umbrellas to stand outside City Hall in the pouring rain yesterday evening in a rally highlighting the housing crisis.

Organised by the Cork branch of the National Homeless and Housing Coalition (NHHC), the rally was held ahead of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Cork City Council where the new Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde was elected.

The rally featured a live rendition of singer-songwriter Martin Leahy’s, ‘Everyone Should Have A Home’.

Attendees at the protest yesterday.
Attendees at the protest yesterday.

The song, described as a “visceral and fiery reaction to the current housing crisis in Ireland”, features lyrics such as:

“In the world in this life 

“Such a basic human right 

“To have a dignified place you call your own 

“Everyone should have a home.” 

Speaking to The Echo at the rally, Mr Martin spoke about his own stressful housing situation.

“My own situation is that I have an eviction notice looming. 

“The landlord is selling the property so I have to move out because I’m renting. It’s a common enough story at the moment,” he said.

Mr Martin, from Ballinadee, said he is finding it “extremely difficult” to find a new home, given the lack of available properties to rent and the high prices of those that are.

“I do a weekly protest outside the Dáil every Thursday.

“I played at the cost of living protest up in Dublin last Saturday.

“It feels like an urgency. It feels like a housing emergency or a housing disaster as the president called it there recently,” he continued.

 Gary Baus, member of the Cork Branch of the National Homeless & Housing Coalition (NHHC).
Gary Baus, member of the Cork Branch of the National Homeless & Housing Coalition (NHHC).

Addressing attendees at the protest yesterday evening, NHHC member, Gary Baus said:

“Everyone should have a home.

“President Higgins rightly said it’s a matter of dignity.

“A decent place to live is the foundation for everything. Without that security, every aspect of your life becomes insecure.” 

In the struggle for a better society, Mr Baus said it was going to be necessary to "disrupt a few meetings”, gesturing to City Hall ahead of the commencement of the AGM.

 Helen Louise Murphy, The Glen, at the protest yesterday. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Helen Louise Murphy, The Glen, at the protest yesterday. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

“Should we quietly submit to the injustice of the housing crisis or loudly resist it? That’s why we’re here, to speak truth to power and demand public housing be built on public land.

“We demand an end to evictions, bank repossessions and sell-offs to vulture funds. We demand housing to be a constitutional right,” he continued.

Another rally, also organised by the NHHC, is set to take place this afternoon at 1pm in Daunt Square.

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