RSYM ‘House the Homeless’ Campaign

Statement by the Republican Socialist Youth Movement:

Over the last number of weeks the Republican Socialist Youth Movement has been agitating over the issue of homelessness in Ireland. With young activists in areas such as Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Ennis, Derry, Sligo, Strabane, Tipperary and Galway taking part in our ’House the Homeless’ campaign which was designed to highlight the plight of some of the most vulnerable people in Irish society today.

Figures given to the RSYM by Focus Ireland estimate that there is currently up to 5,000 people who are homeless throughout the country. We believe that this is totally unacceptable. We find it reprehensible that with so many properties left lying vacant after the collapse of the property market (some estimates put the figure at up to 300,000) and with housing prices on the wane that the government would rather hand over billions to the profiteering millionaires who have led us to economic ruin than to come to the aid of people who need their help the most.

This is the great contradiction within the capitalist system.

Thousands upon thousands of properties are left derelict and unused throughout the country while Irish citizens are forced to sleep on the streets in huge numbers. There is absolutely no excuse for it. We need a system that caters for the needs of the people of Ireland and that doesn’t simply pander to the richest in society whenever their risk-taking gets them into trouble and they come to the taxpayer with a begging-bowl.

We are dealing here with the same government that encouraged the property bubble to spiral out of control, ensuring that many young families could simply not afford their first home and for those who tried to pay the greatly inflated prices, they are now left with huge mortgages that they cannot possibly pay back. The repossession of families homes, as in the recent case in Waterford, will become an all too common story. There will be no bail-out for these families. This government, and moreover the political system we currently live under do not have the interests of people at heart but the interests of private profit.

The RSYM calls on this government to stop bailing out those who have held our economy to ransom and to invest in people. If the measure of a nation’s economy is not to be the price of bank shares or property values but how well the most vulnerable people in society are looked after, then it is indeed clear that we are in the middle of an economic crisis.

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