From top: Apollo House, Tara Street, Dublin 2; Glen Hansard and members of the High Hopes choir, Kathleen Twomey and Emma Richardson in November

Further to the news that Dublin City Council has granted permission for the demolition of Apollo House – which is currently being occupied to help provide accommodation for homeless people in Dublin…

Home Sweet Home writes:

To say thank you to the people who have supported Appollo House the opening of NAMA building Appollo House for homeless people, Glen Hansard will play a free gig outside the building this afternoon at 1pm.

The Irish Housing Network have said that they have had an overwhelming amount of donations and over 1,000 people in touch to volunteer various skills – including doctors, social care workers, chefs and medics.

‘It’s very clear that this is a people’s movement, so many people have given their time and energy to this freely, and that’s why we’re organising this gig at lunch time today – to say thank you to people in Ireland for their incredible generosity of spirit,’ said one member of the group

The Irish Housing Network and the Home Sweet Home group opened the building last Thursday and so far have 30 residents and are currently at capacity.

They also asked that donations be offered to other homeless hostels in the area as they have what they need for now, but will put out specific call outs when they need specific things.

We would love if people could come to see the gig today, and we thank everyone for their generosity from the bottom of our hearts,‘ said one representative.


On the Home Sweet Home Facebook page…


Home Sweet Home (Facebook)

Permission granted for demolition of Apollo House (Irish Times)


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37 thoughts on “Free At 1pm?

  1. jackson

    This building has been pegged for redevelopment for the last years, with decision due today, are people that ignorant of the processes in this country. All the dopes screaming corruption based on due process for planning being followed openly (I mean inefficiently I would say but certainly openly) and to the letter

    I suppose all these dressed down celebrities knew that that anyway, you know the ones who were calling all office workers in suits scumbags, at the same time making vastly more money than them

    1. Hank

      Yeah, you can’t even walk down the street these days without seeing Glen Hansard or Conor from Villagers screaming “SCUMBAGS” at suit wearing passers by..

      1. dav

        when all know that white collars are the pillars of society and wouldn’t lead this country into crippling debt and austerity..

  2. Fact Checker

    This is all very useful as a consciousness-raising exercise. But why are people being encouraged by celebrities to live in a building that is clearly unfit for living in?

    What happens when a resident of Apollo House trips and breaks an arm inside? (Remember, it is a soon-to-be-demolished office block, never designed nor used for human habitation.)

    Who is liable? The Irish Home Network? The receiver? The developer?

    There has been a big growth in the number of rough sleepers in Dublin recently. But this does not negate the decades of legislation and practice on rather dull things like insurance and what buildings are suitable for living in and what aren’t.

    1. DubLoony

      Not sure if you have been in an office recently, but generally they are big bland rooms that people spend 8-12 hours a day in.
      May not be designed for full-time living with bedrooms, but other than that, they are generally safe.

      Unless someone steals the stapler, then all bets are off.

      1. Fact Checker

        I think that it is good that they are raising awareness of the poor land use in Dublin at a time of rising rents and homelessness.

        But office buildings are basically never suitable to have people living in.

        I would love to see Glen gathering the tribe outside ABP’s office to sing a protest song about its silly obsession with building height in Dublin city centre, but we all know that’s not going to happen.

        1. ahjayzis

          “But office buildings are basically never suitable to have people living in.”

          What’s the material difference between a homeless hostel, comprising dormitories, washing facilities and a kitchen, versus offices units, comprising individual rooms, washing facilities and a kitchen? What’s the health and safety no-no built into commercial buildings?

          1. Fact Checker

            I suspect quite a big difference, given that offices are not converted to hostels (or vice versa) in Dublin very often.

          2. ahjayzis

            You suspect? Sorry, I thought you had facts to back it up ;)

            Commercial buildings are converted to residential buildings every day of the week, there’s nothing inherently unhealthy about office blocks compared to residential blocks.

    2. Anne

      Btw, do you talk like that in real life? A consciousness raising exercise?
      Do you think people were not consciousness raised about homelessness already?

      1. DubLoony

        Have to admit I find this line hard to take. Like we can’t see homeless people on the streets, have never heard of people in hotel rooms, never raised money for Simon, Focus, SVdeP, PeterMcVerry Trust or packed bags or cooked dinners for the Capucian day centre.

        People have been doing this for years, TV & radio ads and god knows how many fundraisers.

        But now that Hansard & Ogle are finally on the case, we can take our consciousness to the next level.

        1. Anne

          I thought it was to take people in off the streets myself..hopefully it manages to put a bit of pressure on the gov to do something too.

  3. DubLoony

    Take a stroll around to Luke St, around the corner from Apollo house.
    There are 2 boarded up old public housing buildings there.

    This is the crux of the problem. Empty old buildings, not in use by anyone.

    Telling people to make them selves at home in an office block that is due to be demolished is not a solution. It’ll get people over winter, so not a total loss.
    But when the time comes, who is going to have to tell them that they will have to leave?

    1. ahjayzis

      Same argument for hotels. No storage, no cooking facilities, constantly invigilated, nowhere for your kids to play, no family privacy.

      But people are spending up to a year in them.
      I think Apollo House would feel far less like a Victorian poorhouse right now than some of the hotels we’ve heard about.

      I don’t think anyone is saying things like this SOLVE the problem – but it is highlighting that the government are either unwilling to fix it due to being ideologically imposed to treating housing as anything other than a commodity to make a return on, or being so incompetent and institutionalised themselves that they see scoping exercises and expert committees as some form of action they should be applauded for. This is massively embarassing for our politicians, who’ve failed utterly.

  4. Baffled

    It’s funny how many people have been taken in by this political stunt.

    Last night a video went viral on Facebook in which someone ranted against “austerity” and spoke of a “scum class” that runs the country, keeping down the less fortunate in society.

    The last three Budgets have seen tax cuts and spending increases, including on welfare payments that are among the highest on the planet. What austerity? What ‘scum class’?

      1. Baffled

        Asserting that someone is a member of a so-called ‘scum class’ for pointing out holes in an argument is a novel approach to debating an issue.

    1. ahjayzis

      We’ve gone through the guts of a decade of social strife, diminishing living standards and as a people now shoulder a vast banking debt all in a valiant cause to….. oh, it turns out to get right back to where we started. The same social structure, the same people at the top, the same developers who build shoeboxes and fire traps and subsiding foundations are raking it in, soon to be gifted public land for their trouble, housing has never more been a commodity to be traded and leveraged, our health service is probably as bad as it ever was, come boom or bust, (showing it to actually be perfectly designed – only design can be that bad), the cost of things like rent, insurance, healthcare, transport are soaring, but wages aren’t, the banks we bought and paid for several times over are still their old antisocial selves. I mean it’s not hard to see why people aren’t foaming at the mouth with joy over a fiver here or there from our benevolent masters.

      1. ahjayzis

        Oh and we’re an acknowledged tax haven for tax laundering supercompanies now, so there’s that too.

  5. Bruce Wee

    Jesus….It’s fupping Christmas…Having read the comments in here I find it amazing that people could be snide and completely miss the point of this whole exercise….people freezing with no roof over their head and don’t have somewhere warm or something to eat. Creating awareness of a growing problem that isn’t being address enough at Government level shouldn’t be viewed as “look at these uppity pack of do-gooder pri*ks”.

    Whether people are using it for political exposure, celebrity exposure, ego inflation or a pat on the back is completely irrelevant.

    Go donate or do something else for someone and stop being a miserable fu8ker

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