VA­CANT HOUSE TAKEOVER

The Sligo Champion - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL DEER­ING

A group who took over a va­cant house in the cen­tre of Sligo last week say they in­tend to oc­cupy other prop­er­ties in the com­ing weeks to highlight home­less­ness.

The protest at the house at Old Mar­ket Street was or­gan­ised by Peo­ple Be­fore Profit and lasted for around six hours last Tues­day.

PBP coun­cil­lor Gino O’Boyle who was one of the or­gan­is­ers said there were many other such prop­er­ties around the city.

“It was a short oc­cu­pa­tion to highlight the fact that there is a hous­ing cri­sis out­side of Dublin as well.

“The hous­ing shel­ters are full and there are hun­dreds on the hous­ing list and many more peo­ple are stay­ing with friends, couch surf­ing,” said Cllr O’Boyle.

He claimed that the house at Old Mar­ket Street has been va­cant for the past eight years and was pri­vately owned.

Cllr O’Boyle said the house was in “a de­cent, live­able con­di­tion.”

He would like to see it done up and given to some­one on the Sligo’s hous­ing list.

He said he would be seek­ing for the coun­cil to pro­ceed with com­pul­sory pur­chase or­ders with re­gard to va­cant houses.

He said he didn’t see any­thing wrong with en­ter­ing the house and that oc­cu­pa­tion was a form of peace­ful protest.

Asked how the group had gained en­try, Cllr O’Boyle said the “house was al­ready open.”

He said there were dozens of such va­cant prop­er­ties not only in the city but in out­ly­ing ar­eas such as Car­ney and Bal­liso­dare and “we need to find out who owns them.”

Cllr O’Boyle said he wasn’t aware if the owner of the Old Mar­ket Street house knew of the oc­cu­pa­tion.

The house which was oc­cu­pied at Old Mar­ket Street.

Cllr Gino O’Boyle (sec­ond from left) with Nigel Gal­lagher of Peo­ple Be­fore Profit and oth­ers out­side the house at Old Mar­ket Street which was oc­cu­pied for some six hours last Wed­nes­day. Pic: Donal Hack­ett

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