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St Catherine’s Gate Vigil

St Catherine's Gate

St Catherine’s Gate Vigil

In modern Ireland, people who are serving time in prison have rights. They are entitled to receive a visit from a loved one, to be safe, to have shelter over their heads, as it should be, for everyone should have these basic rights. In the emergency accommodation units situated on Parnell Road, a visit from a loved is not permitted.

St Catherine’s Gate is a housing complex which is used to help homeless people who have nowhere else to live. The complex that houses 22 apartments, has been under public scrutiny for the last 8 or so days. The management are trying to evict a young family with two children from the complex. Only last week, we at your favourite online digital newswire, the Fountain, reported the young couple’s story. Since last we reported, the mother Catherine Reddington has met the homeless services at Parkgate House to try and address what is now becoming a very nasty situation.

Other accommodation offered to the young family, but on closer inspection the bedsit, was deemed unsuitable for the family of four. There was also an issue with the sleeping arrangement, the DCC did offer to bring in extra beds but this would only take up more space. Catherine pointed out if they took this bedsit, they would not be able to put Santa’s gifts in the bedsit as its only one room, and her children will be able to see the gifts before Christmas Morning.

The complex which is run by a management company has in the past been investigated by DCC over rules which have been put into place. Some ex-residents have been putting up remarks on social media including FB about what is going on in this complex. There are reports that the management have opened up post addressed to some residents. Also, if a resident breaks a rule, the management will knock of their TV services. The rules by all accounts have been deemed unnecessarily harsh such as residents are not permitted to open window’s to let air in.

Earlier this year, another ex-resident tried to have a birthday party for her young child and invited her next door neighbour’s children, when management found out they cancelled the party.

This complex is the second emergency shelter Catherine, Raymond, and their young children have lived in since they became homeless. They previously lived in another complex in nearby Rathmines.  They were promised by the DCC that they would be housed after St Catherine’s Gate.

On Thursday the 10th of December, the group “Dublin 8 Says No” and local residents, held another vigil outside this complex. Various community groups have been holding a Vigil outside St Catherine’s Gate, since this story broke. They have been on hand to offer support to Catherine, Raymond, and their young children, and to open up networks so this family can get all the legal help they need.

Betty Purcell the head of Irish Human Rights & Equality, called up to offer support and hear what exactly happened.

It appears who ever find themselves in any kind of emergency accommodation; they have no legal rights what so ever, to tenancy. At the start of this story I explained that prisoners can get visits and they have rights, people living in these kind of emergency accommodation don’t it’s a simple as that. It should be remembered that people who live in these complexes have no constitution rights, as a tenant.  DCC and local housing authorities have a responsibility to provide some form of a housing unit to people who find themselves homeless. We are all just a couple of steps away from becoming homeless.

2 Responses

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