Archibishop Martin should intervene in Fr. Scully House dispute - Costello

2 December 2014

Statement by Joe Costello

I welcome Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s announcement that he will convene a special forum on homelessness in Dublin this Thursday. The death of a homeless man on Molesworth Street in Dublin, adjacent to the seat of Government at Leinster House, is a terrible tragedy. It also highlights the serous crisis of housing in the capital and the need for urgent action at the highest level.

The announcement by Archbishop Martin to make 30 units of emergency accommodation available to the homeless is also most welcome. Likewise, I believe the Archbishop should use his moral authority to put pressure on the Catholic Housing Aid Society (CHAS) to make available the 99 new units of accommodation in Fr. Scully House, Gardiner Street, so that the elderly people awaiting social housing can be housed for Christmas. This housing complex in my constituency in the heart of the North Inner City has been constructed and furnished, and is lying empty for over six months.

Also, the Simon Community, which recently closed 37 units of its accommodation for the homeless on Sean McDermott Street, should immediately reopen them and keep them open until the Government’s €3.8 billion social housing programme is delivering new homes later in the new year.

It is imperative that all necessary steps are taken immediately to rid our capital of the scandal of homelessness.