Brendan Ogle at Apollo House, Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2 last Christmas on the first anniversary of the the occupation of the Nama-controlled building
Brendan Ogle, an organiser of the ‘Home Sweet Home’ demonstration at Apollo House in December 2016, writes:
Apollo House was needed in 2016. Something similar was needed in 2017.
And it’s twice as needed in 2018.
Dublin’s streets are awash with homeless citizens today. I see them every day. Two bodies are huddled under a sleeping bag on Liffey Street now. One is strung out. His girlfriend asleep on his lap. A bundle of humanity thrown onto the streets for the day. And maybe tonight.
Down on the Ha’Penny Bridge two volunteers of one of the state controlled charities are kneeling down giving soup from a flask. These are the people who care. Who are out helping with their time and their hearts while the rest of us shop. Somewhere else the organisation has a ‘CEO’ on a 6 figure sum to make sure [Minister for Housing] Eoghan Murphy has political cover, while the volunteers give, not take.
There were supposed to be 24 hour beds at this time of year. Political lies spun within an inch of their life.
There was supposed to be places for couples too.
Affidavits were sworn in Court two years ago by people who knew then they were lies, telling a Judge that he could close Apollo House. There were enough beds in the city for everyone. A lie then. And a travesty now.
Every volunteer I came across in Apollo House just cared. They just had a heart. That was the case if they were rich or poor, famous or infamous, or anonymous. Just people who gave a shit. And the Irish public responded with massive generosity.
But we can’t be having that. That’s not allowed. So the establishment hit back. First the Court lies to close the place, and then the questioning of motives. People did it for ‘ego’, to rob money, to sell an album.
See those last three? The people themselves peddled those. Against each other. People had to be ‘taken down a peg’. And so they were. ‘Friends’ got so scared by the viciousness of it they bought into it. Or hid. And are hiding still. Stopped sharing and liking things. Whispers behind backs. Crossing streets before eyes could meet. A (mostly) silent exorcism for fear of ‘contamination’.
And all the while the numbers rise. The human tragedy has doubled. What was a crisis in 2016 is now officially an emergency. People die routinely now. It’s not even ‘news’ anymore.
So it’s getting worse. And the alternative just and fairer society is economically further away than it ever was. And politically too. The mostly non existent ‘left’ is still mostly non existent. Not even the ambition for ‘unity’, let alone Government, exists anymore.
Anyway. Maybe some egoless troll has a sledgehammer and a building in mind. Maybe everyone doesn’t blame the ‘migrant flood’ and sees who is really to blame for the scandal that is Ireland today. Maybe that person, or people, will escape the vilification of poor people (relatively) attacking other poor people (relatively) and do something. Maybe.
That’s what I’m asking Santy for anyway.
Previously: It Doesn’t Seem Like Christmas This Year