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Rumours Only


Rumours Only

This week had an interview with Zoe Obeimhan from the Bridgefoot Street Park Campaign who wanted to shed some light on recent rumours that have been circulating in the Irish Times concerning the site being made available for shipping style containers, also called pop-up villages.

“This is all speculation. There was an announcement in the Irish Times saying that it was proposed that 100 units, these are also called shipping style containers, be put on the site,” Zoe said when this correspondent spoke to her, “It was said that this would be a way to solve the homeless crisis and save Dublin City Council money as pop-up units are an alternative to B&Bs.”

Zoe was telling us that they became worried when they saw some men from the Lewisham Council and DCC representatives on the site at the end of July. This gave rise to speculation that there might be something conspicuous happening.

Lewisham Council, in South East London, was in the news in March 2016, The Guardian did a story about a new pop-up village that was erected on Lewisham high street to solve the problem of homeless people having to stay in B&Bs. The pop-up village, made out of factory built flats, were built to help families who are forced to live in B&Bs in other parts of the capital.

Zoe made it clear that there is nothing about to happen on the site, definitely not before September, as councillors are off during August and will only be back in office in September. They are hoping to address the present issue at the next meeting to be held in September.

She also said that there is no truth in the rumours that the Bridgefoot site will be used for permanent housing. “On Friday, the 19th of August, we will be having a meeting with Tony Flynn from DCC. Five representatives from the Bridgefoot Street Park Campaign will be meeting with him. This meeting will be about finding out when the design consultation workshops will start-up again. And we will also be looking for clarification concerning the recent rumours,” Zoe said.

A few months ago the Bridgefoot Park site was rezoned to a Z9 zone, this means the site is designated for green space and outdoor amenities. “We need a park as soon as possible. Liberties is facing a Green Space Crisis. Green Space is important because it brings us closer to nature, improves mental health and gives you a better quality of life. Locals need a better quality of life in the Liberties. It is good for children to play outdoors in places where they can run and play.”

A pop-up village like the one they built in Lewisham can cost up to £15 million. Compare this to a park that will cost DCC €500,000 to develop, it seems more logical to build a park, satisfy the crisis of green space lacking in the area, and save money that can be applied elsewhere.

The Peter McVerry Trust reported on the latest figures and facts on homelessness. The number of people recorded as homeless in June 2016 was 6,358. Of these, 4,152 were adults and 2,206 are children.

There are 198,358 vacant dwellings in the state, that seems like a solution to the present problem. If you want to know more about the Bridgefoot Street Park Campaign why not come along to the Fundraiser PubQuizz on Friday the 19th of August at 8 pm at Stoutman Pub, James Street, D8.

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