‘House the Irish First’ – Protesters Block Housebuilding for ‘Non-national Families’

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Desperate Irish protesters whose families have been waiting up to 15 years for social housing have blocked the construction of new homes for “non-national families”, demanding “local houses for local people”.

“We watch these houses being built, and none of our children on the list are getting them,” one middle-aged woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Irish Times.

“They can be 10, 12 years on the list, and they’re going nowhere. There’s no explanation as to why,” she complained.

The ‘House the Irish First’ protest movement, most of whose members are women, has been blocking the housebuilding project at Ladyswell Road in the predominantly working-class Dublin suburb of Mulhuddart since January.

The protesters, who believe too much social housing is going to “non-national families who are not from the area”, are demanding at half of the new homes are set aside for local people on the housing list for the local authority, Fingal County Council.

“We have heard there are two lists,” another protester told The Irish Times.

“We don’t know how it works. What we do know is the list for the girls from around here has not dropped, and non-national families are moving in. We are tired of seeing the girls move out of the area, away from their family supports. Our communities are being broken,” she said.

One of the young women concerned said she had been on the list for seven-and-a-half years already, living cheek by jowl with her sister’s family in a home afflicted by damp, and is still only number 860 out of 6,959 applicants.

Interrogated on the question of whether or not the name ‘House the Irish First’ was racist, one of the women said their group had “nothing to do with racism” but that the housing situation “stokes racism… it makes you bitter…. we haven’t a problem with anyone who needs a house, but it has to be done fairly”.

Fingal County Council insisted it has “long-established policies which are the fairest way possible of allocating housing to those on the list”, based on “meeting the housing needs of the community which includes the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, the Traveller community and also a growing migrant population.”

Mulhuddart’s demographics have transformed dramatically in recent years, with 40 per cent of residents having been born abroad.

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