The housing crisis in Clonmel will see people take to the streets in January to protest at the alarming number of people on housing waiting lists, homeowners facing repossession and people living in poverty trying to pay exorbitant rents in the private sector.
The desire to take the issue to the streets was expressed at a public meeting on the housing crisis and homelessness held in Clonmel on Wednesday night.
At the meeting Deputy Seamus Healy, who organised the meeting, was called on to stage a Dail walkout to highlight the issue.
Deputy Healy said he would have no problem taking such a stand and would invite like minded TD's to a meeting to make such a proposal.
At the meeting volunteers involved in soup kitchens in Clonmel and with the River Suir Suicide Watch Patrol voiced their frustration at the failure of local authorities to respond to the situation on the ground.The failure of Tipperary County Council to build social houses and what was termed a disjointed approach in the county to people presenting as homeless with those presenting inThurles met with by a social care worker while those presenting in Clonmel were not.
Two speakers June Looby Dermot Donovan hit out at the council for failing to respond to basic requests to help out.
June Looby of the Clonmel Suicide Watch Patrol said they had come across people at night sleeping rough who did not have sleeping bags and a request to the council to provide them fell on deaf ears.They met with four people sleeping rough during Storm Ophelia in Clonmel.
Dermot Donovan said he had set up a soup kicthen with other volunteers and up to twenty people were availiang of the service six evenigns a week. They had approached the council to provide a container that they could serve from but no help was given.
"Nobody helped us, the council was asked and refused.it was absolutely disgraceful" said and the group involved at the time could not continue.
Sean Carey told the meeting he was a former engineer with South Tipperary County Council. It was not that long ago that the council had engineers,adequate staff and maintenance crews and were actually involved in building houses.
"That is all gone now, no houses are being built, the numbers of engineers, housing staff,maintenance crews that used to be there were done away with.The administration of the council is nuts now " he said.
Cllr.Martin Browne,Sinn Fein said there were nine public repreeentatives in the Clonmel area and only one (the only Clonmel Borough elected representative to attend was Cllr.Pat English) attended the meeting and he wanted to know why they did not come.
Former Workers and Unemployed Action Group councillor Billy Shoer said there should be a Dail walkout to highlight the housing crisis.
Deputy Healy said he would arrange a meeting of TD's and try and get an agreement for such a protest and he told the meeting that he would organise a public protest march in Clonmel in January to highlight the housing crisis.
The two guest speakers at the meeting Mike Allen of Focus Ireland and Dr.Rory Hearne, Economic and Inequality Think Tank,addressed the attendance on the national housing and homeless crisis.