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County Council Refuse To Budge despite Huge Support for Homeless Woman's Protest

category dublin | housing | news report author Thursday May 26, 2005 12:18author by Dave Lordan - swpauthor email dlordan at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Dun Laoghire County Council is refusing to provide housing for Margaret Watson and her 25-year-old daughter Fran despite huge public support for their plight. Margaret and her growing band of supporters have now been picketing Dun Laoghaire County Hall for eight days. At night Margaret sleeps outside the County Hall in a tent donated by a prominent local artist. Over 3500 bypassers have now signed her petition in support of her demand for immediate housing.

Council refuses to budge as homeless woman’s health deteriorates



Dun Laoghire County Council is refusing to provide housing for Margaret Watson and her 25-year-old daughter Fran despite huge public support for their plight. Margaret and her growing band of supporters have now been picketing Dun Laoghaire County Hall for eight days. At night Margaret sleeps outside the County Hall in a tent donated by a prominent local artist. Over 3500 bypassers have now signed her petition in support of her demand for immediate housing.
These petitions were shown to council housing officials at a meeting with Margaret on Thursday morning at 10 am.
At the meeting Margaret told the council she was prepared to immediately pay her outstanding arrears which the council now estimate at between 1200 and 1500 euro
But the council is demanding that Margaret hand over her tenancy before they consider her situation. This unreasonable demand would mean Margaret would undermine her right to council housing.
Margaret is a council tenant who was forced to move from her council home three years ago because of a serious domestic dispute. She then went to live with friends in private accommodation but had to move out recently when they sold their house. The health board will not give her rent allowance since she is a council tenant. The council will not re-house her despite knowing her domestic situation.
A note from Margaret’s GP was handed into the council housing officials on Wednesday. Margaret had to seek medical advice after developing a chest infection
and losing her voice on Tuesday night. She is also suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of her situation
After the meeting with the council Margaret said “of course I am disappointed and upset at the heartless way I am being treated by the council. But I am receiving huge support from all sections of the community here and I intend to continue my protest until my housing needs are met”
Dave Lordan, a local representative of the Socialist Workers Party, who are supporting Margaret’s campaign, said ‘ It is simply unbelievable that the council are refusing to listen to the plea that thousands are now making that Margaret and her daughter be housed. Margaret’s situation is an in indication of the deepening housing crisis and of the cold way many are being treated by the council. Thousands are unable to afford their own homes and live in precarious and cramped conditions due to government housing policy. This has to change. We are appealing to the council to immediately house Margaret in adequate and safe accommodation before her health worsens any further”
In response to the council’s intransigence Margaret and her friends and supporters intend to step up their campaign in the coming days. They are holding a mass sleep-out in front of Dun Laoghaire County Hall on Friday night beginning at 9pm. They are inviting members off the public to bring sleeping bags and tents to camp out in support of Margaret.


For further details contact Dave Lordan at 0872703564 or John Dunne 0876662454 or Chris Potts 0851555224

author by eeekkkkpublication date Thu May 26, 2005 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

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author by Paulpublication date Thu May 26, 2005 13:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sophia Housing has just built a new transitional care unit in Donabate. I believe it is for people who find it hard to manage a household e.g. budgeting, children, working. There is 24 hr. support and training available for residents (and its near the beach).
Why doesn't someone contact Sophia Housing on behalf of this woman, and get her a place in Donabate.
www.sophia.ie

author by davepublication date Thu May 26, 2005 14:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'll get photo and interview tmro or saturday

cheers

dave

 
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