Tag Archives: Dublin Inquirer

Housing activists outside 38/39 Bolton Street in 2015

Lois Kapila, in The Dublin Inquirer, reports:

Three years ago, when housing activists stood down from their occupation of 38 and 39 Bolton Street after the council took them to court for trespassing, they didn’t feel too bad, says Séamus Farrell.

Dublin City Council had said the buildings – which it owns – would be turned into accommodation for people who were homeless. That was something they could rally behind, said Farrell.

But it hasn’t happened yet.

The two tall buildings in the north inner-city are still empty, with boarded-up windows and shuttered doors, and advertising posters plastered to the front wall.

“It’s not surprising, it’s disappointing,” says Farrell, an activist who was involved at the time. He is now among those who have taken over a Georgian building on Summerhill Parade…

Many years on, two council buildings on Bolton Street are still empty (Lois Kapila, The Dublin Inquirer)

Previously: Meanwhile, On Bolton Street

Homely

Rialto Youth Project in Rialto, Dublin 8

Cónall Thomas, in the Dublin Inquirer, writes:

Over four years, Fiona Whelan gathered stories from young people in Rialto in answer to the request: talk about a moment in your life when you felt powerful or powerless.

Many of the 60 anonymous accounts she collected had one thing in common: they touched on encounters with gardaí.

“I’d say I get stopped 20 times a month. 20 times a month just for walking around,” wrote one young man from Rialto. “I’d be walking, a Garda car would see me and stop and ask me where I’m going.”

As the project snowballed and interest grew, Whelan, an artist in residence at the Rialto Youth Project, and Jim Lawlor, the manager there, worked it into something practical: two modules that could be taught to gardaí during their training – to help them work better with children in the neighbourhood and further afield.

But while it looked for a while as if the modules might be taken up, almost a decade on they are still pushing for that to happen

Gardaí need better training on how to handle kids in the inner-city, some say (Cónal Thomas, Dublin Inquirer)

Rialto Youth Project

Evgeny Shtorn

Evgeny Shtorn, from Russia, is a human rights activist and asylum seeker living in Ireland.

He writes in the Dublin Inquirer:

I had been looking forward to the recent Pride Parade in Dublin with excitement. Back in Russia, I had helped to organise Pride events, but had never actually taken part in a parade, as they were always banned by the authorities.

…Our group was articulating a specific issue. Our banners read, “we are here”, “queer direct provision”, and “end direct provision”.

…We were ready to march. For most of us, it was the first time in an explicitly LGBT event.

Before we could make our stand, though, we had to wait. We waited for hours for other groups to pass by – the majority were huge corporations, banks, chain shops and new media companies who used Pride to advertise.

One after another they marched, their corporate logos decorated with rainbows. Two hours later, we LGBT asylum seekers, and other LGBT community groups finally got our chance to move.

Most of those watching the parade, those we wanted to hear and see our messages so they could think about them, had already gone…

Evgeny: My first pride parade wasn’t quite what I’ve hoped for (Dublin Inquirer)

Photo:  Jose Miguel Jiminez (Dublin Inquirer)

 The former ‘Gloucester Street’ Magdalene Laundry, Sean McDermott Street, Dublin 1

In the Dublin Inquirer.

Cónal Thomas writes:

Leaving Mullet’s Bar on Amiens Street one night in the late 1970s, Betty and Tony Dunleavy strolled home to their small flat. It was shortly after 12:30am.

Rounding the corner of Buckingham Street onto Sean McDermott Street, the young couple passed the looming red-brick structure on their left, the Convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, behind which the Magdalene laundry stood.

“On our way home, we’d always pass the convent,” says the now 69-year-old Tony, sat at the small kitchen table in his house on Champion’s Avenue, recalling the night that he and his late wife heard a cry in the dark.

Caught in the barbed wire wrapped around the convent’s front gate, a woman was trying to escape. As the couple passed by, she called for help.

The Dunleavys answered.

READ IN FULL: How one young couple helped women escape from the last Magdalene laundry (Cónal Thomas, The Dublin Inquirer)

Previously: The Last Laundry

Parkgate Hall

Laoise Neylon, in the Dublin Inquirer, reports:

On Friday afternoon, Sonia Traynor was boxing up her family’s belongings.

She had already thrown out eight bags of clothes, not because her four children didn’t need them or wear them, but because she can’t take them all with her.

She gave away lamps and a chest of drawers to friends. She was trying to line up friends and relatives who might store the children’s toys, including new bikes they got for Christmas.

They won’t be able to cycle them now anyway. Hopefully, they won’t grow out of them.

But she hadn’t found anyone to look after the family’s dog, a big grey husky, when she moves out of her house in Ballyfermot on Monday.

“I better remember to cancel the Sky,” she says to her partner Luke Coulahan, as he makes a pot of tea. The kitchen around them is full of boxes.

They won’t need broadband anymore, either. From Monday, she thinks that they will be living in a hotel.

In December, the family got a 56-day notice of eviction, including a solicitor’s letter to confirm that her landlord is selling up.

Traynor was homeless for about two years the last time. Now it is happening again.

She feels she was duped into accepting the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, which offers no more stability than any other private rented tenancy.

“They promised me that this couldn’t happen,” she says.

For the second time, a mother and her children face eviction and homelessness (Laoise Neylon, The Dublin Inquirer)

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney announcing details of the €200m Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) in March

Readers may recall how, last June, it was reported that Minister for Housing Simon Coveney was to make a €200million ‘local infrastructure fund’ available to developers.

The purpose of the fund is to “relieve critical infrastructural blockages and enable the delivery of large-scale housing on key development sites”.

This fund is called the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund and in his Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homeless document, Mr Coveney says:

“In return, clear commitments will be required around the accelerated pace and scale of delivery of homes in the right locations and with affordability built in, reflecting the scale of the State’s investment on behalf of its citizens.”

According to Mr Coveney, between August 2016 and October 2016, 21 local authorities submitted 74 proposals for funding.

Mr Coveney told the Dáil last month:

On 28 March 2017, I announced funding for 34 projects under LIHAF. The cost of these projects is €226.46 million, of which €169.65 million would be funded under LIHAF with local authorities funding the remaining €56.81 million.

These public infrastructure projects will be key to the delivery of 23,000 housing units over the next four years, with a longer term projection of up to 70,000 units as the selected sites are fully built out.

In addition, last month, Mr Coveney said:

“There is a strong focus on affordability in the projects being funded under LIHAF. Local authorities were specifically asked to focus on affordability in considering what proposals to put forward and have received commitments from housing developers with regard to affordability.”

“It is expected that local authorities will work quickly to deliver public infrastructure which in turn will ensure that significant housing can be delivered in the period up to 2021. The substantial increase in housing supply should ensure that the house prices are competitive.”

Further to this.

Laoise Neylon, in the Dublin Inquirer, has been asking if the developers who have benefited from this funding have been building social and affordable housing units and, if so, how many?

Readers will note that all developers are required, by law, to build 10 per cent social housing in all developments where are more than nine units.

Ms Neylon writes:

“…there has been little detail about exactly how many affordable homes there will be on the sites that benefit from the fund, which are spread across 15 local authorities.

One of the biggest housing sites to get LIHAF funding for infrastructure was Cherrywood, to the south of the city [Dublin], where 8,000 new homes are planned. The government gave €15.19 million for road upgrades and a bridge there.

“About 60 percent of the site is owned by the developer Hines, according to its spokesperson Robert Hanley.

But Hanley was unable to say how many of the 8,000 units would be affordable in the development, or to directly answer a series of questions asking how many affordable units there would be and what cost they would be.

“Cherrywood will have 10 per cent social housing in line with current requirements,” said Hanley, by email on 10 May.

But social housing and affordable housing are not the same. Social housing is owned by local authorities, while affordable housing might be privately owned, but would be either purchased or rented at a lower cost.

The 10 per cent social housing doesn’t satisfy the requirement for affordable housing under LIHAF, according to a Department of Housing Spokesperson Eddie Kiernan.

“The provision of the required 10 per cent under Part V will be a factor in evidencing affordability but it must also extend to the rest of any relevant private housing on the site,” said Kiernan.

“On 15 May, in response to questions about how many affordable units there would be on the site, a spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said that “there is currently no affordable housing scheme in operation”.

“After a series of follow-up queries, a spokesperson for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council sent an email on 16 May, saying that the council is in negotiations with the developer to secure an element of affordable housing at Cherrywood.” 

“It’s unclear why this agreement is not already in place.”

Anyone?

Despite €200million subsidy for developers, questions over affordable housing (Laoise Neylon, Dublin Inquirer)

Thanks Sam

tea-in-the-supermarket

Two years ago the BBC reported on shocking working and living conditions in tea estates in Assam, India.

Helena Tubridy (above} wondered where Barry’s sources its tea.

And waited.

Via The Dublin Inquirer

Neither Barry’s Tea nor Lyons was willing to share the exact names of all the tea estates that they source from.

Lyons gets some from Kenya, some from Sri Lanka, and some from Assam, said Adam Fisher, the media relations manager at Unilever, which owns Lyons.

“We source from an array of tea estates and though it isn’t possible to give you the names of all of them Lyons is mostly sourced from East Africa, including Kericho,” he said. It is fully Rainforest Alliance-certified, though….

Barry’s Tea, which is not Rainforest Alliance-certified, didn’t provide a list either. It sources 90 percent of its tea from East Africa and 10 percent from India, said spokesperson Camille O’Flanagan. “We work with some of the most reputable tea estates in every region.”

*slurp*

Where Do Barry’s Tea and Lyons Get Their Tea From? (Dublin Inquirer)

The bitter story behind the UK’s national drink (BBC News)

Cj3dSj1W0AAkTk_

Ah here

Martyn Rosney tweetz:

Great article on The Liberal today about plagiarism in Irish media…..

Steal This Article (Dublin Inquirer)

Thanks Oisín

imgres

How does Airbnb impact on Dublin’s rental market?

Well.

Louisa McGrath, in the Dublin Inquirier, reports:

As it is, the number of Irish hosts offering up places to stay has more than doubled every year since 2010.

The company’s latest figures show that Airbnb stays in Ireland increased 187 percent between April of last year and April of this year. And Dublin, the most popular spot in the country for Airbnb guests, hosted 240,000 visitors last year.

Airbnb says it had 4,700 listings in Dublin last month, an increase of more than 1,000 since January.

So how many of these properties are entire dwellings, apartments or houses that could house permanent residents at a time when Dublin’s housing stock is inadequate to meet demand?

Quite a lot of them, according to Inside Airbnb, an independent data project that draws statistics and information from the Airbnb website to highlight the make-up of Airbnb properties around the world.

As of January, of the 3,117 properties listed in Dublin city, 47.1 percent – or 1,469 – were entire homes or apartments, Inside Airbnb’s statistics show. (Airbnb didn’t provide these figures when asked.)

Inside Airbnb’s figures also highlight that well over a third of the city’s hosts have multiple listings.

Yikes.

Does Airbnb mean there are fewer homes to rent in Dublin? (Dublin Inquirer)

Previously: No Room For Swinging Cats


Print!

Are they mad?

Online newspaper Dublin Inquirer has launched a monthly print edition.

Lois Kapila, co-founder and managing editor says:

For the past nine months we’ve been online and now we are launching a print edition, we’d love it if you would subscribe.

We had a choice if we were going to survive: we could either move more towards clickbait or we could ask our readers to support us.

We want to continue to do original local journalism and get better and better, that is why we are asking you to subscribe….

Dublin Inquirer