Stop sitting on the Fence: Shortage of homes and proper places for people from Ukraine. Check out Frank O’Connor, Jude Sherry, Anois, Peter McVerry Vacant Homes…there is a lot of cleaning up to be done and potential homes for people. It is said that Dublin City Council has in excess of 5,000 voids. Ukrainians who have arrived in the UK, because of their expertise in technology, 50% already have jobs. “Opportunity comes to pass not to pause” was a saying of Jeff Smurfit founder of the Smurfit Group.

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On Connaught Street in Phibsboro, residents say they have campaigned for 20 years to get two derelict red-brick Victorian houses used again. On the opposite side of the street looking at the weedy walls of numbers 19 and 21, Jim Hussey sounds frustrated. The dereliction is unfair on other families and his family too, says Hussey. “It is probably one of the most attractive streets to live on – but this eyesore,” he says, shaking his head. “It’s so frustrating.” In 2009, the council put the two houses on the Derelict Sites Register, says his neighbour Paul McCarthy. But then in 2012, they took them back off that list again, before they were put back on in 2018. Residents were ready to shout victory when Dublin City Council finally bought the two homes in 2019 using compulsory purchase orders, says Hussey. “We thought we are on the road now.”

What’s the hold up? More on that, in this week’s issue

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