Protesters link arms around Apollo House as judge declines extension

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A High Court judge has refused an application for an extended length of stay from the occupiers of Apollo House, on the basis that it is a matter for the government and not the court system.

The Home Sweet Home legal team returned to the High Court this morning to seek an extension to stay in Apollo House past the January 11 eviction deadline. 

Since the announcement, protestors have created a human barrier around the building by linking arms and standing in solidarity with the residents, who have said they will not vacate the building at noon to comply with the court imposed evictor order.

The Home Sweet Home inititive sought the extension after a number of residants returned to Apollo House after one night in "unsuitable" government appointed accomodation.

"The Government promised safe, secure accommodation that respected the individual needs of the residents, but campaigners can confirm that this has not been delivered," said Apollo House spokesperson Tommy Gavin, after a group of Home Sweet Home delegates met with Minister for Housing Simon Coveney do discuss the future of Apollo House.

A deal was struck in which the campaigners agreed to vacate the building on the condition that appropriate accommodation be found for the 40 homeless residents currently living there. 

However, Home Sweet Home feels that this deal has not been kept.

"Despite reassurances given by Minister Simon Coveney at recent negotiations, it has not been possible to secure adequate alternative accommodation catering for the short and long term needs of the residents of Apollo House,' reads a statement on the Home Sweet Home Twitter page.

"Eight residents have been forced to return to Apollo House after the government abandoned it's commitment to address their needs, mere hours after promising it would."

"The conditions in the accommodation provided by the government are as unsafe and as unsuitable as those that initially drove many of the residents of Apollo House to sleep on the streets in the first place."

"Home Sweet Home will be seeking an extension from Judge Gilligan to the stay on the order of 21st December, in order to continue to work with services to meet the needs of the residents."

“There are clear health and safety concerns in in some of the accommodation offered to residents."

One resident was reportedly taken to a hostel where the walls were covered in blood, Dublin Live reports.

A new banner went up outside Apollo House this morning in response to Simon Coveney's failure to keep his promises, which reads "homes not hostels."

As part of the deal, €4 million is to be spent on two new facilities for the homeless in Dublin.

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